A.J. Walker


AJ On Writing (A Bit)

Have been getting into a bit more writing again lately after a bit of a hiatus. I can thank the return of Microcosms for helping me find my re-find that mojo there. Currently my go to Flash Fiction challenges are the returned Microcosms and Miranda’s Mid Week Flash Challenge over on the Finding Clarity website (some example photo prompts are shown here). For those of you interested the Microcosms prompt is given every Sunday and you have all week to put a story together of up to 300 words. The prompt are three “elements” that should be included in your story. For example last week’s prompt was: ‘Makeup Artist / Kitchen / Horror” and from those three elements you concoct your story. Of course sometimes the selection of elements my not get your creative juices going and so there is the handy option of spinning the elemental wheel and getting three other elements as your story spur. I always try to use the elements given as a challenge, but I dare say if one week they are cuddly cats / sofa cushions / love story, then I may well give that wheel a spin.


At the moment there are not too many people entering the challenge but it can be way to believe that a lot of people that used to do it back in the day haven’t seen that it has returned - what with Twitter being flakey at best currently. If you can, give it a look and if it’s up your street then give it a go.

The 300 word limit is difficult and certainly will make you focus. You can definitely write a four of five hundred word work and then have to get your knife out.


Example photo prompt (Week 277))

Week 278

Week 279

Week 281

If 300 words is too tight then there’s Miranda’s challenge, which gives you up to 450 extra words to play with. Yes, 750 words. The prompt is a photo and there ain’t no wheel to spin if the photo doesn’t work for you. I do it fairly regularly and post the stories on this website (under Fictions), but sometimes the photo doesn’t work for me and I do end up giving it a miss rather than struggle to get a story out that I don’t adequately get behind. In general though 750 is a lot more freeing for you than 300 words. Why not give both a go and see how they compare for you?

Anyway, it’s nice to flex your writing muscles a little if you’re not currently working on more substantial pieces. Maybe see you over there.


To that end I picked up a great little portable keyboard to go with my iPad. It's really freed me up to write more whilst on the hoof. I've written several stories this week and some blogs (including this one) using the keyboard and iPad option. For less than £30 it has been fab: much better and quicker than typing on the screen and t'll get me writing significantly more. This is a MoKo foldable Bluetooth keyboard but there are plenty of others to choose from. If you are out and about a bit I can thoroughly recommend getting one - and it's lighter and safer than lugging a laptop around.






Finding Clarity
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