Writing exercises

I’ve begun to treat the endless competitions that seem to come around daily these days as a kind of stimulation for the ‘real’ writing day. The ‘real’ writing is my ‘work’ while the fun is often found in smaller tasks.

Micro-fictions, the tiny stories that are usually exactly 100 words, no more and no less, are fun that way. Our writing group has embarked, this week, on the monthly theme promoted by Retreat West, based on an image of a howling wolf with the word ‘WILD’ emblazoned over.

So throughout this week, I’ve done at least one micro-fiction before starting on my writing day proper. Actually, to be fair, it’s been more than that: 10 micro-fictions in four days.

I tried another, similar exercise for a competition a year ago, in which the challenge was to incorporate a particular phrase into the story. I created twelve tiny stories, circulated them to family members who kindly rated them for me. I took the top six stories, and submitted them to the competition. All, of course, to no avail. I’m not that keen on competitions, me.

But as an exercise, to get the creative juices flowing, as it were? Gold dust, I reckon. Just as long as I don’t lose sight of the main point, lose the forest of the novel for the individual trees of the smaller tasks.

Chapter 6 though, marches on, so I don’t think that’s at risk, yet.

By Larry Winger

Retired scientist, devoted diarist (AllendaleDiary.org), community-minded aspirant novelist, I've lived on a smallholding in the East Allen Valley for the past 30 years, delighting in watching our family grow up, in experiencing the development of our grandsons, and in taking care of our small flock of chickens and garden.

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