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How to Help Your Audience Suspend Disbelief

You as the writer have a responsibility to write a story which makes it easy for the audience to suspend their disbelief…. The issue is not one of what is possible. The issue is of what is likely.

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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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How To Write When Time Is Short

Good writing takes time. That’s why it’s so important to write frequently and regularly.

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Juggling Multiple Writing Projects

You’re committed. Dedicated. Come what may, you’re getting this novel done, just by plodding along one word at a time.

Plod, plod… plod…

But then suddenly:
‘I say! Who’s that smokin’ hot piece of brand new idea?’

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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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Not Sure Where To Begin With Your Story? Try Free Writing.

Free writing is a time honoured prewriting technique which works by encouraging the writer to write without fear of criticism or failure for a set period of time.

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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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Writing a Good Character Description

Remember: a character is defined what they do and say, not by their physical appearance. Therefore, use physical descriptions to bring out their key traits. First ask yourself who this character is and what important details of their life and personality you wish to convey.

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Gleaning Ideas from Other Stories

But what do you do when the Idea Tree stops putting out its juicy fruit? Easy. Glean ideas from someone else’s story.

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