A Story in Six Minutes

If you are looking for a sure fire way to get your creative mind moving, try writing a Six Minute Story at their website. Founded by Galen Sandford, the Six Minute Story website affords writers a way to kick-start their thinking and a forum of feed-back and encouragement. It works like this; you are given a prompt and then you have six minutes to write to that prompt, when the timer runs out you are unable to add more text. I tried it for the first time this morning to the prompt ‘The dream was better than the waking’. Here is my effort. Flawed? Yes, but the perfect skeleton now for a fantasy piece.

Waking Dreams

She moved through my dreams in the silver slippers of moonlight.

I shivered. It seemed as though something had touched me. I could hear the early morning mist slip off the slumbering streets…my bones shuddered and I longed in those lucid moments for warmth.

Did you breath? I felt a soft air cross my cheeks as I struggled against the frostiness cast by being in the limbo between sleeping and waking. Touch me! Touch me! make me come alive again, don’t let me drift into cold darkness.

Sunlight drove hard through the window and fell on my cheek…is it your kiss I wondered?

Struggling through the cold of dying sleep, I wake, gasping, reaching for you. You are not there.

The dream was better than the waking…your spirit met me there and warmth brushed my spirit’s need to find you.

click here to write your six minute story

Ending Writer’s Isolation

The writing task as we know can be an isolated one and often we crave support, feedback and encouragement. Of course, these needs cannot always be met just when we need them. It may be a few weeks before the next poetry group meeting, or our fellow writer-friends may not be available and getting to the library for the book we need to help us along may not be practical. However, Immediate support is at hand and can be quickly availed of if you have access to a computer anywhere.

Fanstory.com is an online community that provides the opportunity to have your work reviewed and commented on by a host of writers at different stages of their writing careers. I once had my work commented on positively by a university professor of English.

On this site, writers receive detailed feedback from writers and readers. Feedback includes a detailed comment and a rating for each piece posted to the site. Encouragement is received by writers being ranked by the feedback they receive. Rankings are available for Poets, Novelists and Short Works and Script Writers. Trophies are awarded to the top five writers in each of the individual rankings at the end of each year. There is also a Seal of Quality committee that is made up of published authors and stand-out reviewers who are also available to offer feedback on the process of getting published. The site features competitions and allows members to post their own competitions.

With over 200 stories and poems being posted each day and 7000 review, each day, this is one of the best forums on the internet for new and not-so-new writers to showcase their work. The Membership fee is extremely low, making this the best value support that is available when you need it. To get started  Click Here

Posting your work on Fanstory is safe and you retain all copyright.

Bread on the Table

Have you ever had you dream of being a writer challenged?

This has happened to most aspiring writers. Sometimes the challenge comes from family and friends with statements such as ‘get a proper job’ or ‘writing won’t pay the gas bill’ etc. Sometimes the challenge comes from circumstances and harsh reality; you go to the cupboard to gather the ingredients to make a meal and it is bare, or that utility bill came in and you were struggling to pay it. In situations like these, it is all too easy to cave-in and decide that writing is a bad career choice. However, though the demands of living in the real world have to be met, there remains the possibility of earning a good income from writing.

One of the areas of writing that I would suggest for consideration is that of writing for the Internet. Many writers while working on their cherished manuscripts and struggling to make ends meet, overlook this rich source of revenue. The reality is, there is a whole world of writing opportunities on the Web and with as little as forty minutes a day you can be earning an income that will support you in all your other writing aspirations. You may even find that being a web author is so rewarding that you go on to make this your primary source of income.

Freelance writing online is enjoying growth and people are fulfilling their writing dreams by providing copy for information hungry websites. If you have access to a computer, have good writing skills, can present information logically and clearly, then there are opportunities for you to support your writing career.

Ideas Department

Writing requires a flow of ideas. Sometimes when we sit down to write we feel that the ideas department is like Mother Hubbard’s cupboard…it is empty.

Whether you wish to write short stories, non-fiction, screenplays or anything else, there are ways of ensuring that you always have something to write about. These suggestions will help you as you progress in your writing career or even if you are a seasoned writer who has hit the blank screen.

Keep a notebook in strategic locations – in the kitchen, on the bedside table, in your pocket, on the seat you watch TV from, anywhere you are likely to be when an idea comes to you so that you can note it down. Writing in a notebook is like rolling a snowball…it picks up momentum and soon has a life of its own.

Note down what you hear other people saying. Modify it, turn it into humour, make it the issue of conflict between your characters and more. The conversations that we hear around us every day are a staple in the writer’s ideas cupboard.

Read often and widely. This is not to suggest that you become a swot, but just a few minutes of gleaning a newspaper or magazine can yield a bagful of ideas to get your writing going again. Don’t forget to keep a notebook handy while you write.

People-watch. Whether in a cafe, on a station platform, a coach, in fact anywhere. Note carefully the appearance, dress style, mannerisms, habits, emotions etc of other people. Discreetly note them down and they will be there when you next need a character for your story or novel.

Delve into memory. Your own history and experience is full of ripe ideas to turn into a story, play, family history and more. Next time a memory surfaces that sets you on a train of thought, make a spidergram in your notebook. You may be surprised to find that after just a few minutes that you have the basis for a range of chapter headings and potential outline for your piece.

These few tips may help to get you started. Along with these ideas consider the following as effective ways of filling your ideas store:

Research – you don’t need to be an expert to write an article.

Personal Interests – whatever it is that makes your life interesting, may interest others.

Interesting People – if you know an interesting person, consider doing an interview.

Surfing – the Internet is a storehouse of ideas that will leave you with only one problem…what ideas to use.

No matter how empty the ideas cupboard is, a few minutes each day spent in any of these activities will provide a host of writing ideas and boost your writing confidence.

Novel in a Month

Getting started is the hardest part of writing, especially if we try to see too far ahead. The thought of writing 80 thousand plus words…of filling hundreds of pages when we can’t even get started on one…the dread of isolation; all these things can keep us back from getting started.

It isn’t as hard as you might believe. In fact, it is possible to write the draft of your novel in a month. Take Barbara Cartland  who wrote more than 600 novels or Mark Victor Hansen co author of “Chicken Soup for the Soul” who turns out a book a month or Dr Richard Carlson who wrote “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” during a 12 hour flight and went on to sell 25 million copies.

Take a look at the website of the National Novel Writing Month by clicking on the NaNoWriMo photo below and consider signing up for free…with the encouragement and support of like minded writers, you will complete your book with as little as 40 minutes a day.

A New Day

A New Year has begun and with it all the inner strivings to achieve our personal goals. However, it is not the New Year and our resolutions that will steel our nerve to unleash our creative abilities…what we need are the resources and skills that will encourage us to give birth to our best thoughts.
Being part of a Writing Community can assist us to get moving with our writing. Okay, the thought might make you nervous…all those strangers staring at you across a room and ready to shred the offerings that you are to present to them…but, what about an Online Community? One that has a large interactive membership at all levels of development and working with every genre of writing imaginable? Online writing communities offer a safe environment for the new and not-so-new writer. One of the major benefits is that of lessening isolation as you write. Another benefit is that of structured and constructive feedback that enables you to progress with your writing in a confident manner. Online writing communities present a forum in which to make new friends, form writing alliances, have work appraised in a non-threatening way, gain tips and ideas from people who have done it all before you, and even find competitions that are free to enter and could result in you winning status…now that really is a boost!
For a Writing Community that really knows its way around, try writing.com.