Welcome to Morning Pages — it’s time for a monthly roundup. I hope you’ve got your pencils sharpened and ready to write. Wanna join in on the fun? Read the prompt, set your timer* and get ready to let the words flow. Feel free to post the results of your work in the comments below where we chat about writing and (if the mood strikes us) get a craft discussion going.
If you want critique from other commenters, use #YESTHANKS in your comment. Otherwise, you can tell us about the flash fic and the process you went through to write it. And of course, I’m always open to hear what you think about my excerpts!
*you can write for as long as you want, but most folks choose 15-30 minutes.
Things I learned this month: This is has been the month of training my brain away from epics to write shorter-form fiction. I’ve been somewhat successful, but I certainly wouldn’t say I’m comfortable with flash fiction yet. I struggled with the format I used, wherein I set a timer and wouldn’t let myself write past the ‘ding’ at the end of the session. Eventually, I got to a point where the stress of the impending timer locked me up too much, so I gave myself permission to set aside 5-10 minutes to clean up and finish the piece later in the day.
I’m well aware that 5-10 minutes of edits aren’t nearly enough to deliver a polished piece of flash fiction; these are exercises and one-offs, and that’s what most of them will stay. But a little extra leeway has helped them serve their purpose. Morning Pages are about jumpstarting creativity, and for that, they get the job done.
My favorite discovery of the month has been how fun it is to pants ideas again. I’m a plotter by nature and work off tight outlines for my long-form fiction. Throwing words at the wall to see what sticks makes me nervous, but the outcomes have been a fun and interesting departure from the weeks (months, years) I spend kicking ideas around for my other works. The structure is a disaster, but the ideas flow free and easy.
I couldn’t write this way all the time. If I did, I’d spend most of my time doing enormous overhaul revisions and rewrites. (Yes, I’m aware this is how many pantsers operate. Power to you if this system works, but I need structure to get a functional story on the paper.) For small-scale flash fic, though? Bring on the pants; it’s time to play in a sandbox of new ideas.
“That’s the part tales don’t mention: how the hero, forever changed by his journey, can never fit into normal society again.”
“Journeys”: A post-canon short in the Oceana ‘verse
“Can you cook a dragon?”
“Dragon Snacks”: Neveshir from Dark Arm of the Maker deals with a troublesome student
Two characters from the Blight universe attempt to pick a lock
“The old gods are dead.”
Who’s left behind when all the gods are gone?
A character exploration for an upcoming novel.
Red sky at dawn, sailors be warned.
Neveshir is having yet another bad day.
“I haven’t slept properly in seven years.”
A narrative joke in the Oceana ‘verse.
“Starspinner“: A young boy has a beautiful but dangerous power
A hunter watches the fierce green fire fade from the eyes of his prey.
Answer the prompts or dive straight in and respond to others’ comments — let’s share our knowledge, our experience, and have a discussion we can all learn from! Don’t want to miss a post? Subscribe to the blog in the sidebar to get notified about new posts.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
How do you think that impacts your revisions process?