Archives

6 Things I’ve Learned About Writing Fiction

Today I’ve decided to share a brief selection of some of the lessons I’ve learned over the years which I think has helped to make me a better writer.

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What Should I Spend My Waterstones Vouchers On?

I’m calling on you, dear reader, to help me decide what to buy from Waterstones this year (while reserving the right to ignore all your suggestions if I don’t like them).

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6 ‘Six Word Stories’ for the 6th (Vol. IV)

Sunday the 6th only ever means one thing here at Penstricken: another exciting instalment [2] [3] of 6 ‘Six Word Stories’ for the 6th.

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Get Your Copy of Penstricken: Collected Stories!

There are short stories, there are very short stories and then there is flash fiction: the delicate and often tricky art of telling a story in as few words as possible.The stories in this tiny little book (all originally published between 2015 and 2020 on the fiction blog, Penstricken) are deliberate exercises in brevity.

In total, this book contains twelve flash fictions ranging from fifty to 2,000 words apiece, plus six collections of six word stories.

While these stories vary in mood and genre, you will find in many that the author’s tongue was firmly entrenched in his cheek; whether it be in the brief tale of a Martian liberating his ‘kin’ from the deep fat fryer of a Glasgow chip shop or the nightmarish tragedy of Santa Claus’ true genesis, Penstricken: Collected Stories is a brief snapshot of one writer’s meandering imagination.

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On Character Traits

Let your reader get to know Dave by experiencing Dave, not simply being told about Dave.

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Pants, Plants and Plans: A Beginner’s Guide

If you’re struggling with whatever method comes naturally to you, it may be time to try a different approach. And so, what follows is my own concise analysis of each approach, comparing pros and cons as evenly as I can. 

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Theme: The Truth Behind the Tale

What fundamental truth(s) are you conveying in your idle fantasy? What aspects of real life are you exploring? And equally as important, how are you conveying that truth?

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Writing a Second Draft When You’re a Plantser

It was my wife who finally reminded me: I’m a plantser. I begin with a rough plan, but it’s only when I write and let my imagination run wild that my plan starts to grow a bit of flesh and take on a life of its own. Why was it, then, that when I came to write my second draft that I felt so compelled to have a perfect plan in place before writing anything?

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Super Snappy Speed Reviews – TV Edition (Vol. 2)

I’ve picked 5 TV shows entirely at random from my DVD rack/Now TV/Lovefilm/etc. accounts and reviewed them all in no more than four or five sentences.

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Flash Fiction: The Girl & The Car

As always what follows is entirely my own work and has not been published anywhere else in the world, whether in print or online, nor do I expect or permit it to be. And so without further ado, I give you:

The Girl & The Car
by A. Ferguson

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