Friday, April 28, 2017

Strengthen Your Creative Muscles by Writing Flash Fiction

Posted by: Maureen
Spring is here and summer is not far behind so everyone is talking about exercising and getting in shape. But the muscles I’m talking about can’t be molded with weights or cardio. I’m talking about your creative muscles. You know, your muse! 

No Workout Gear Required

That is, unless you really want an excuse to buy some new yoga pants, or that cute top that’s on sale, then go ahead. Tell your hubby it’s necessary for your “exercise regime.” He doesn’t need to know you’re planning on working out your mind. Besides, some days just getting those creative juices flowing can be considered work. Besides fighting off the distractions of social media, getting your mind focused on the story can be exhausting.

Granted, writers need to keep moving to stay healthy and on top of their health, but the same thing can happen to your writing muscles if you don’t use them. Your story might get stagnant, or you forget the direction it was heading, or you hit a wall with the dreaded writers block.

How Can Flash Fiction Help?

There are lots of definitions on word count for Flash Fiction, including the 6-word story, but most consist of writing a tight, complete story in a few hundred words. It might hint at a larger story but the piece can stand on its own.

This is a great way to practice trimming the fat from your stories. When every single word counts, you tend to notice…
·      Extra, unnecessary words
·      Backstory dumping
·      Excessive dialogue tags
Plus, as a bonus, it helps you practice writing a concise tweet (140 characters or less is not much to work with—challenge accepted?)…and it’s fun!

So…You Wanna See How Good You Are?

Writing prompts can be a great way to become inspired to write a flash fiction piece. Some people choose to use a picture to develop a story, you can buy a book of prompts, or just Google writing prompts to find tons of places to choose prompts from or compete with other writers.

You can use this writing exercise to wake up your muse at the start of your day, or if you need to crank up your creativity. Once the juices are flowing you can return to other writing with fresh inspiration.

Show & Tell

I’ll share one of mine. This is my 250-word prompt on aging.


“Where’s my baby?”
“Here you go, Elizabeth, she’s fine.” Judy handed her the doll. “Let’s get dressed.”
“George likes me in red. He says it showcases my hair.”
“How about this, then?” Judy laid the flowered dress on the bed.
Elizabeth gently set the doll aside. “She’s not crying anymore.”
“Perhaps Joan will visit this weekend,” Judy said.
“George is the only one who calls me Beth,” she slid the dress over her head. “Is he here for dinner?”
“Not tonight, but it’s your favorite dish.” Judy brushed her hair. “How shall we fix it?”
“I used to wear it in braids.” She wrinkled her nose. “But I think it looks better down.”
“How about a nice barrette?” Judy offered several.
“I like this one, it’s pretty,” she giggled. “George says I’m pretty, maybe we’ll get hitched one day.”
Judy raised a brow. “I think there’s a good chance of that. How about shoes? These look comfortable.”
“Shouldn’t I wear heels with my dress? What will the other ladies think?”
“Oh, these are all the rage.” Judy pointed at her own white sneakers.
“Alright, but I thought the war was over. Why isn’t George home?” Elizabeth pouted.
“All your friends are waiting.” Judy helped her stand and they walked past the mirror. 
Elizabeth gasped. “Who is that old woman?” She pointed at the reflection. “She’s wearing the same dress as me! People will talk.”
“It looks better on you,” Judy whispered.

Do You Have a Favorite Writing—or get ready for summer-Exercise? Please share it so we can ‘get in physical & mental shape for summer’ together. 

Author Bio: Maureen Bonatch grew up in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the four seasons—hockey, biking, sweat pants and hibernation—keeps her there. While immersed in writing or reading paranormal romance and fantasy, she survives on caffeine, wine, music, and laughter. A feisty Shih Tzu keeps her in line. Find Maureen on her websiteFacebookTwitter

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