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🏕 Writing fiction

Alexander Cameron
Alexander Cameron
3 min read

Greetings!

If you need a new read for funsies, and you're a fan of sci-fi, I can't recommend Liu Cixin's Three-Body Problem trilogy enough. I'm halfway through the third book, and I can't physically put the book down at night. My sleep schedule is destroyed.

Speaking of fiction, here's what I got for you this week.


My love for fiction

Fiction gets a bad rap.

Some people believe fiction is a luxury that they can do without. Other people believe fiction is an enormous waste of time that could be better spent reading the latest self-development with "F*ck" in the title (seriously, why are there so many f*cking books about the life-changing magic of f*cking "this" or "that"?)

But for me, fictional stories are where I've found some of the best lessons about life–fantasy and science fiction stories, in particular.

This is the reason I started the Twitter account called Insightful Fiction, where I share my favourite quotes and lessons I've learned from fictional stories.

Now, reading fiction is one thing. But writing fiction is an entirely different beast that I highly recommend you try out for yourself. When you read someone else's story, you're absorbing the author's lessons through their lived experiences, which is amazing! But what about your lived experiences?

Writing your own stories helps you distill your thoughts, emotions, and experiences without worrying about what others think because guess what? ... the story is made up, so who cares!

Some other benefits of writing fictional stories (that I've experienced):

  • More empathy
  • Clarity of thought
  • Enhanced creativity
  • Better communication skills
  • Happier mood and well-being
  • Shows you who you are (values, dislikes, dreams, etc)

Pretty cool, right? Who knew fiction could be so powerful.

If you've never written a word of fiction in your life, the idea of putting fingers to keys and making shit up might sound intimidating.

But the first thing to keep in mind is that there are NO RULES.

Want to write a 700-page behemoth of a novel set in a fleshed-out fantasy world, complete with its own laws of physics, magic systems, and political landscape?

Go for it.

Want to write a story in six words?

Here's a famous one:

For sale: baby shoes, never worn.

Boom. Talk about a gut punch. Thank you, Ernest Hemingway.

The point is that fiction can be whatever you want it to be. You have full creative control, so don't worry about rules when you're getting started.

The second thing to keep in mind is that you don't need to start from scratch.

Prompts are powerful. By giving you something to think about, prompts grease the wheels and allow your creative juices to start flowing.

Starting is the most challenging part, and by reducing the friction of sitting down to write, you'll likely write a heckuva lot more.

Here are three prompts to get you writing today:

  1. All of a sudden, the entire world can hear each other's thoughts. How does the planet cope?
  2. You wake up one day as a frog on a lily pad. What do you do and how do you get back to your human form? Is this a Disney fairy tale or a Grimm's fairy tale?
  3. Craft a story about a rock band truly living the sex, drugs, and rock and roll lifestyle. How does drug use affect their music, and does it impact their overall career?

[I took these prompts from 1,000 Creative Writing Prompts Box Set: Five Books, 5,000 Prompts to Beat Writer's Block by Bryan Cohen. Great book.]

You can also play around with word counts and perspective (first or third) to add another constraint element.

There ya go.

If you ever wanted to write fiction, pick one of those prompts and get to writing.

As for me, I'll be publishing my fiction on this site if you're into that kinda stuff.


Best performing tweet of the week


Weekly check-in

What did I do well this week?

  • Had three drinks the entire week. Feeling gooood.
  • Created a kanban board to keep track–and finish–all the courses and books I've bought that are collecting dust.
  • Developed a plan for my freelance writing biz (article dropping soon!)

What didn't I do this week, and I should have?

  • Missed a few tweets

That's all, folks!

If you enjoyed this Newsletter About Nothing, maybe your friends will too! I'd love it if you shared the good word with a homie or two. All you have to do is send them this link so they can sign up. Every week, I promise to sit down and try my damndest to make this email better than the last one.

If you have any interesting articles, funny memes, compliments, complaints, or simply want to shoot the shit, hit reply and let's chat–DMs are open!

Cheers 🍻

– AC

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