All writers become murderous sooner or later, but it’s important to kill your character in the right way, at the right time and for the right reason. I hope this worksheet will help you premeditate the perfect coup de grâce.
Writing flash fiction is a terribly satisfying way to spend an hour or two. For your fleet-fingered effusions, I’ve collated all my Twitter flash fiction prompts into a handy ebook. You will find two sizes of the ebook for download, both with ample room for notes.
30 Day Challenge
If 100 days sounds like too much, why not try your hand at a 30 day flash fiction challenge? Download the PDF here.
- A.E. Stalling’s Presto Manifesto!
- Jack Kerouac’s Belief & Technique for Modern Prose.
- Natalie Goldberg’s ‘Rules of Writing Practice’ in Wild Mind.
- Charles Bernstein’s Manifest Aversions, Conceptual Conundrums, & Implausibly Deniable Links.
- Copyblogger’s 10 Steps to Becoming a Better Writer.
- Keri Smith’s How to be an Explorer of the World.
What’s the difference between a writing manifesto and a set of writing rules? It is difficult to draw a line, I admit. I could say that a writing manifesto can be applied to other areas of life, but clearly that would involve truncating my list, and I’m not going to do that. I will therefore wriggle out of this question by vaguely claiming that writing rules are (or ought to be) practical in nature, while the manifesto’s purpose is to incite, ignite and inspire.
I think for this reason that they should be written in Smith’s style – in a rush of inspiration, perhaps on the back of a napkin using a free leaky biro, in wonky handwriting & long after midnight when a little intoxicated by life, sleep deprivation and caffeine. And like Kerouac – wildly abbreviated, capitalised, random & ungrammatically jolting one out of linguistic ruts.
Embrace the contradictory advice of these manifestos. Print them out and keep them in your wallet, hang them on yr wall, write them out in yr notebooks, read them every morning, chant them like mantras; “visionary tics shivering in the chest “!
Please tweet me any I might have missed!
Plot holes are almost inevitable at some stage in any piece of longer writing, and in my experience, fixing them can be the most disheartening job of the writer. Print out this worksheet, pour yourself a drink and sit down to untangle those snags!
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I have become completely enamoured of Tom Hanks’ new typewriter app. A little strange, considering I own my grandfather’s old typewriter and it never sees the light of day! I suppose all writers must harbour some nostalgia towards these outdated machines, and though it is difficult to decide whether the idea of such an app is utterly ludicrous, or somehow intellectually permissible, I’m unashamedly tapping away on mine, sipping whiskey and listening to ’50s film music. I even got a little carried (carriaged?) away and began curating a Pinterest board of women with typewriters.
Here are my thoughts on Hanx Writer, type(app)written:
I also discovered this lovely notebook in Tesco last week. It’s produced by Chronicle Books, who also make the One Line a Day journal I reviewed at the beginning of the year. Just like the app, there is something wonderfully incongruous about a notebook with typewriters on the cover, and the injunction to “write” rather than to “type”. The colourful pages certainly make me long to fill them up (longhand)…