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Why is reading widely so vital for anyone wanting to write seriously?

Partly because you always learn something from whatever you read. (In the case of bad fiction, this can be as simple as learning what not to do! Sometimes this can also encourage you. If that got published, my work must be in with a chance etc!).

Partly when you read, you are filling your mind with ideas. Ideas encourage other ideas and before you know it, you have an original take on a story idea of your own. The more you read (and especially the more widely), the more ideas you will have for your subconscious to think about. I like to think of this as nurturing the creative spirit. It does need feeding regularly!

Also given all writers love books and stories, doesn’t it make sense to support the industry you hope to be part of?

Reading - says it all really via Pixabay

Says it all really.  Image via Pixabay.

Escape with a good book via Pixabay

Losing yourself in a good book.  Image via Pixabay.

Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again

One of my methods of writing flash fiction is to work out the “punch” ending and then work backward from that point. I believe Agatha Christie used a similar technique for many of her novels. I would also be very surprised if she was the only one! I strongly suspect not.

The nice thing about this technique is you have that cracking ending and you have to think of something strong enough to justify it. It means not reaching for the first idea that comes to you but often the second, third, fourth etc.

But in making yourself think more deeply about how the ending could be the way you’ve written it, you come up with something far more original. I like to think of it as mining the imagination – and good mining always goes far beyond the surface!

The world of the imagination should play a role in your stories. I can't imagine any world without some form of the arts. Image via Pixabay.

What is the world of your story? Image via Pixabay.

Whether you write flash fiction or other kinds of story, brainstorming sessions are invaluable. I have, less often, used them to generate ideas for non-fiction work. Image via Pixabay.

Whether you write flash fiction or other kinds of story, brainstorming sessions are invaluable. I have, less often, used them to generate ideas for non-fiction work. Image via Pixabay.



Ideas are only the starting point for stories.  Read widely, encourage your mind to fill up with different ideas and mull over them.  Image via Pixabay


And a recent post… Favourite Moments in Writing

Favourite moments in writing? Some of mine are:

1. That instant when you know your character has come to life and the story takes off.

2. When your characters surprise you with what they come out with (again proof they have come to life). You will broadly know what your characters are going to be capable of but something coming out of “left field” should make you reassess where the character and story is going. I have found to date that the “left field” experience is always worth pursuing. It nearly always ends up being a stronger idea than the one I first had. Sometimes it takes writing the story for a while to dig out the REAL idea behind it.

3. Knowing you’ve left enough room in your outline to allow for “left field” moments so you are ready for these. You can work out where they would best fit and how they impact on your initial thoughts and that they are not going to totally detail your structure, etc. I find being “open” to these things happening means I handle them better and so can make the most of them. I find that very satisfying.

4. Being told your story is going to be published.

5. Seeing your story in print, online or both!

Themes pour out of good books - image via Pixabay

Let those ideas flow!  Image via Pixabay


The wonderful world of stories... Image via Pixabay.

The wonderful world of stories… Image via Pixabay.

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