Fingers table-tapping impotently. Clock striking, but not the keys on my laptop. Blank face reflected on white empty screen mirrors the inside of my dark empty head.
I prod my muse. “Any thoughts?”
She waves a bottle in my direction, hiccups and sinks into a torpor.
“Try Facebook,” she mumbles.
Vivienne Burgess needs to get some perspective in life, get her muse off the booze, and take a holiday from Facebook. It’s not helping her creativity… or blood pressure.
Gerald was in the unenviable position of having a pseudonym more popular than himself. He had submitted five stories and had none accepted. Mitchell Kent—Gerald’s middle name and favorite superhero—had been published twice. Gerald had to get rid of Mitchell. Murder or suicide? Either way it’d be messy.
Mark Konik is a writer from Newcastle, Australia. He writes short stories and plays.
Only fifty words?
That doesn’t seem like very much.
It isn’t, but that’s all we have.
Alright, let me think.
You have twenty-three words left.
You mean we already started?
I’m afraid so.
Well, why didn’t you tell me?
Darn it! Okay, here goes: my story begins-
Jonathan Houston is a freelance writer who loves the great outdoors, films about redemption, and the occasional rack of ribs. But not necessarily in that order.
He told me his secret to writing was that after he finished he would lock his manuscript away in the bottom of his desk drawer for three days. No more or less.
“Why three days instead of a day or a week?” I asked.
“It was good enough for Jesus.”
Tyler Hahn currently resides in the loess hills area of Iowa. Throughout his life, he has been an archaeological technician, soda jerk, and currently works as a college librarian where to his surprise he never has enough time to read.
A #2 pencil.
Tiny, nervous teeth marks on six sides, identical, yellow paint flaking: sharpen it after forty years, write poems until the marks bite into your fingers, until the pencil nubs, vanishes.
Hold high the words. Declare a miracle: Look! Look what is written by the hand of God!
Larry D. Thacker’s poetry can be found in more than eighty publications including The Still Journal, Poetry South, Mad River Review, The Southern Poetry Anthology, Mojave River Review, Mannequin Haus, Ghost City Press, Jazz Cigarette, and Appalachian Heritage. His books include Mountain Mysteries: The Mystic Traditions of Appalachia and the poetry books Voice Hunting and Memory Train, as well as the forthcoming Drifting in Awe. He’s presently working on his MFA in both poetry and fiction. Visit his website at larrydthacker.com.
A proper story requires three main components:
All important to form a complete story, no matter the size.
If any of it is missing, it is called an unsettled plot.
I want to share a personal recollection:
A true finished story.
Preeti Singh is an Indian French Interpreter and Media Professional who is engaged in writing scripts. In her free time she loves to play sundry characters for television series. Find her on Twitter or her website.
Laughing under the bright sun, my hands are appeased, my pen can’t write. But come night, black ink spills from my past, disfiguring page after page. My past claws itself out, hideous and raw, writing off who I used to be. Then day breaks and my head is calm again.
Gretchen Ivers is 16 year old who loves Jesus, laughter, and unicycling. She is currently teaching herself Braille.
It couldn’t be that hard.
Weeks of careful planning were in place.
She lacked one final step: action.
A glance at her watch told her she was out of time. It was now or never.
She put pen to paper, paused, digging deep, before finally succumbing to a consistent flow.
Hillary enjoys sending words to Tim’s house for consideration when her mind wanders away from the autobiographical words that most often claim all the blank pages at her house.
“Write what you know.”
Posit: the here and now.
Twist: the here is grubby, the now is relative, but menacing concerns lurk in the shadows.
Outcome: blocked; none of it matters.
Not knowing how long my cardboard shelter will last isn’t letting me think straight.
Monica Perez Nevarez is a sustainability manager by day, but is trying to transition into writing full time.
I read just one novel, the Great American one. I don’t recall what it said. I didn’t read it for its words. I read it for its intentions, its wonders, its accidents and daydreams. I read it slow and neat and kind, and when it was over, I wrote voraciously.
Robert Hoekman Jr is a writer and the cohost of Spillers, downtown Phoenix’s premier short fiction storytelling event. Learn more about him at rhjr.net