The hunter stalked its prey, as it pirouetted in a merry dance, each twirl bringing it closer to the salivating hunter. But before the hunter could pounce, it was caught in a snare.
From its vantage point, it became aware of another, sinister figure encroaching upon its territory.
Did that catch you in its snare? Let’s begin then!
I. Word count
I have found keeping a word count in my head helps me plot better. Whenever I get an idea, I give it a word limit. This doesn’t allow me to go overboard with setting up the plot.
For example, if you’re writing a 100-word micro fiction, you may be tempted to write 250 words and then cut it down to 100 – because hey all you’re doing is editing. But no. If you have only 100 words, it means you have no room for bullshitting. You get in, do your job and get out. If you try and reduce 250 to 100, it’ll read like a tale that is missing something and it won’t work. Cutting down 105 words to 100 – now that would be editing.
II. Let it simmer
We love taking notes, jotting down every little idea that pops into our heads. But since I have come across the earth-shattering news that both Stephen King and Murakami do not subscribe to the notion of jotting down every idea that pops, I have been trying it out. And it works! Now I let my mind follow the story, often writing the whole thing in my head before I pick up a pen-paper or open an empty draft. Contrary to popular belief, I don’t forget the story, and what comes out is far richer.
III. Walk away
Even when I am pressed for time, I walk away from what I have written. Even if its for 5 minutes. If I am unable to walk away, I change the way in which I relook it. For example, if I have typed on my laptop, I will re-read it on my phone. If I have written in a word doc, I will hear it instead of reading it.
Walk away. Come back. If it works, good. If it doesn’t, it’s the post, not you or your self-doubt. Trash it.
IV. pay attention to Endings
Oftentimes short stories end abruptly. Its because the writer has taken the first 600 words to describe the setting and then suddenly realized oh my god, I need to end this. They then use 150 words to end a story they have been building for 600 words. This is another reason you need to have a word count in mind. If you know you have to end the tale within 600 words, you will make sure you don’t go beyond 650 or 700.
But…but…where is…what about…my heart? Expressing myself?
Ever heard the term ordered chaos? Writing fiction is exactly that. Don’t be afraid to put boundaries on your imagination because that’s when your brain will truly thrive. I am not telling you to not express yourself. I am only asking you to express yourself within a few limitations.
Separate post coming up people!
The hunter stalked its prey, as it pirouetted in a merry dance, each twirl bringing it closer to the salivating hunter.
But before the hunter could pounce, it was caught in a snare. From its vantage point, it became aware of another, sinister figure encroaching upon its territory.
Unable to break free, the hunter let out a roar of anguish, hoping the prey would save itself. But the barrel of a gun had caught the prey in its snare and resounding gunshots were the only evidence of the dying hunter and prey.
The whole of September, I will be sharing posts on things I have learnt about writing. I am taking my blog to the next level with Blogchatter’s #MyFriendAlexa.