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Screaming Nonsense into the Storm

July 18, 2013

I forgot how much I enjoyed Chuck Wendig’s weekly flash fiction challenges over at his blog.  When I’m working on my own projects, I pile pressure on myself, and quickly lose the knack of ‘don’t worry about the first draft – just write.’  With a given starting point I attempt stories I would not normally have thought myself capable of, and with sometimes maddening constraints, I finish them. The challenge forces me to make my brain work in ways it’s not used to, and draw inspiration from unexpected sources.  My personal challenge at the moment is to relax and – aargh – just write. I try to kick back (here I imagine my desk chair scooting across the floor from where I’ve pushed off while I swivel and shriek) and write anything, even nonsense.  We should not underestimate the value of nonsense.


Sometimes you find wonderful things hidden inside.

Sometimes you find wonderful things inside.


These aren’t my proudest works, but I often come up with something I can use; a voice, a setting, a tone, a style, a single image.  In this week’s The Device, I didn’t love the voice I was trying to invoke – it led to wordy and unweildy sentences, and I’m sure I missed the mark on silliness – but I came up with some images that haunt me and I fully intend to recycle them elsewhere.  I know I’ve talked about the benefits of weekly ‘non-critical’ writing exercise before; actually re-reading posts like On Track, from a time when I was feeling a lot better about my writing, was what prompted me to have a go at these challenges again.

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