Pep Talk | Flash Fiction

I look in the mirror and grimace. Deep bags under my eyes. Pimples on my chin. Eyebrows in dire need of a pluck.

“Gross,” I whisper to myself.

“Who the hell are you calling gross?” I say back.

It’s me, talking back to me. My reflection is moving of its own accord and it’s talking to me. Continue reading “Pep Talk | Flash Fiction”

4 Rules for Writing Fiction You Can Ignore

You think you know how to write fiction? You probably don’t. Not unless you follow these four cardinal writing rules.

Remember: some highly successful writers break these rules and still write great stuff. But you are not one of them. It is not possible to break these rules and write great stuff unless you are already a successful writer. Got it? Good.

1. Show, don’t tell

You’re telling me a story, right? Wrong. You need to show me the story. You don’t need a pen and paper or a keyboard — you need a stage. Perform for me, monkey.

You could act out the story, mime it, or come up with a contemporary dance routine. Whatever you do, don’t you dare tell me what happens, because that’s bad writing. It’s boring. What readers really want is a series of ideas which they can interpret in a million and one different ways without fully understanding what your story is all about. Do you understand? Of course you don’t. That’s exactly my point.

Now, there is a very subtle difference between showing and telling when writing fiction, and I’m afraid I can’t share with you what that difference is. Why? Because I have no idea myself. Nobody does. All I know is that “show, don’t tell” is the most repeated mantra known to fiction writers the world over, and we must abide.

2. Never carry dialogue with anything other than “said”

You don’t want your writing to become too pretentious, right? In that case, don’t even think about using anything other than “said” when you’re telling — sorry, showing — us how your characters interact.

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Looking Back | Microfiction

Once upon a time there was a woman who only ever walked backwards.

She was the retrospective type. She believed that looking back would help her to learn from the past. It gave her time to brood over old regrets and figure out what she would do differently if she could turn back time and replay her life. Plus, it meant that she didn’t have to worry one jot about the future; she didn’t look ahead, so everything that was to come next was a perpetual surprise. Continue reading “Looking Back | Microfiction”

Passion for New Projects | Blog

I started a new story this week. A long one. Well, technically it’s a short story, but considering that the majority of tales I write here are under 500 words, it’s gargantuan in comparison.

And I’m so excited about it!

It’s one that came from a daft little scribble in a notebook; a single line that I felt had potential to be something interesting. And now it’s all planned out and a third of the way written and I feel like it’s my wee baby – something to love and nurture and make wonderful. Continue reading “Passion for New Projects | Blog”

Worth | Microfiction

The change in her attitude was abrupt, to say the least.

One minute she was typing manically at her keyboard, excited and determined to fulfil an end-of-day deadline that had never truly been achievable. The next, she was ready to leave it all behind. Continue reading “Worth | Microfiction”