If I could get paid for reading...
I often have the feeling that I read too many books on how to write a book.
It's a good way to avoid the haunting blank page without feeling too guilty about it.
After all, I'm still doing something about my writing!
Except I'm not writing, I'm reading.
I've always been a book worm.
If I could get paid for reading instead of writing, I would be a trillionaire before I turn 40 years old. Unfortunately that's not the case, and so I keep reading books on how to write a book.
I'm loving this book. It's simple to read, easy to follow, it contains practical useful tips.
In the preparatory days before even starting to write your book, Paul Lima suggests you do a simple exercise called Freefalling, nothing new, just the good old 10 minutes brainstorming where you write no stop without worrying about editing, spelling or silliness.
Then Paul Lima suggests your try a variation of freefalling called Directed freefalling: you pick a sentence and start writing whatever comes to mind in relation to that line, brainstorming for 10 minutes or more.
Exercise: Directed Freefalling
Last night I tried the directed freefalling exercise using as my first line a simple sentence that was flashing on my laptop, totally unrelated to the task: "The bell rang..."
In ten minutes I had written 323 words about some weird accident that happened in my high school fifteen years ago and I had never thought of since.
The story was catchy, fun and smelled of bullies and Nirvana.
I read it again today, started editing it, and I intend to submit it by the end of March for the flash fiction competition Lascaux 250.
Every year the Lascaux 250 flash fiction contest gets hundreds of submissions. The entries are required to be no longer than 250 words, submissions close on 20 March 2014.
Last year the competition was free, this year it requires a payment of 4$ but the first prize winner will get a reward based on the number of submissions received.
Everyone can send more than one story, every genre is accepted (except rude and offensive contents).
This will be my second year participating in the Lascaux writing competition: I strongly recommend every writer to submit their stories, and this is why:
- You get to see your story online, your name among the other writers. This makes you feel good and motivates you to keep going.
- You get to read hundreds of flash fiction stories, that is a great writing exercise.
- Comments to your story are a precious feedback for improving your writing skills.
- Comments to other stories help you to distinguish between good stories and weak stories.
Let me know if you decide to participate, I will make sure to leave a comment on your entry. I hope you will do the same with mine.
And if you know of any other good writing contests, please share in the comments section.
Have a good novel!