I’ve always thought that for a book to be a word-of-mouth success, the reader has to turn the last page and be motivated in that moment to tell someone, “You have to read this!” But to me, that could be just as much because it inspired cathartic, body-shaking sobs as if it left me with a feeling of joyful elation. No matter what, it has to move me in some big, exciting, unusual way—and that, in itself, makes me happy.
Source: A Happy Ending Isn’t Necessarily the Best Ending
A happy ending can also be very moving, making you cry at the end of a book. I especially like endings which leave me feeling stunned, in a good way. Endings which make me think on about the story, where it might go from there. Or, what alternative endings it could have had if this or that little thing had just gone differently.
Overall, I like an ending that haunts me. There are very few. I can’t even put it into words, though I’ve tried to do so just for myself even. A haunting ending is sort of a hopelessness, things which can’t be changed. Tragic and yet not an entirely bad ending, or sad. An ending where something is lost. That seems the best way I can describe it.
Have you ever written the ending to a story, before even planning the beginning? How would that work? Try it.
Create your own haunted house.
Plan the layout, the type of rooms, the design and colours. Write about the street appeal and what people see, hear, smell and sense from out on the street.
Then, create the monster living in the house, the surprise in the centre of the maze of rooms and storytelling. What happened to create this monster and what will happen in the future? Do things get better or worse for your monster in your haunted house?
Art from: ASCII Artist.com
I’ve noticed a lack of descriptions in print published fiction lately. Maybe they are already trying to write the screen/ script version of their story and expect descriptions of places and people will be covered by the set designers, costume designers and so on. The lack of descriptions is disappointing. Yet, it fits with the disposable, temporary and fast fry sort of culture we have these days.
I can remember reading descriptions I sank into, as a fiction reader. Descriptions which bloomed into an entire story, not just the background or setting for the events taking place. Characters who really had character rather than fast paced, smart-mouthed dialogue.
So, when I read this post about flash fiction I did not expect to see poetic descriptions encouraged. But, I was very glad to read it and pass along the advice.
A good, poetic description is not wordy. It’s wordful – think mindfulness for words.
Poetic Descriptions Save Space
Poetic skill is a great tool to have in your arsenal. With it, you can capture memorable moments in a few words, while simultaneously conveying deeper levels of meaning. The English language is filled with nuances and subtleties that even the best poet can’t get a handle on. Take a chance and write some poetry in your pieces.
Source: Flash Novels: The Future of Fantasy Fiction?
Write a great description. Pick something ordinary or fantastical and see if you can find the words, while avoiding long sentence length.
Pareidolia is the ability to find pictures in inanimate objects like rocks, potatoes, linens, the moon, inkblots, and anything else. Most often people will see faces but it can also be whole bodies, animals and cultural icons. You could look at dots of this and that on the wall and find an image represented in them. No one else may see it the same way you do. Overall, it’s one way to pass the time while waiting for the bus, doctor, etc.
Another form of pareidolia are sounds heard and attributed to mysterious sources, like ghosts. Some ghostly noises could be explained as our own perception of the noise/ sound.
What have you seen a face in lately? Think about the idea today and see what you notice in a different way.
The word is derived from the Greek words para, meaning something faulty, wrong, instead of, and the noun eidōlon, meaning image, form or shape. Pareidolia is a type of apophenia, which is a more generalized term for seeing patterns in random data.
Sources for more information:
I like this quote. For me, I wonder what I could do to make each day complete. If each day is a life, what would you want each life to be like? Could you be a different person each day, try out a few options and see which really does suit you? If you were planning to make each day a life, how would that work for you?
How does this quote inspire you? Or, does it make you angry? Does it assume too much, put too much pressure on just one day? Write about it.
If you find elegance, or anything of value in the following tale, it will be something you brought in with you. No need to be kind, this story is like an overfed Canada goose lumbering along, unable to get enough lift to fly, deciding to lump through winter, taking handouts from nature loving city dwellers. Thank you for reading and bringing something of value to an old, fat goose.
I remember books in which the writer addresses the reader, like a narrator taking them along through the story. I don’t know (or remember) the literary name for this. For whatever reason the above Dear Reader was in my brain as I woke up this morning.
What would you write to your own Reader? What style or tone works for you?
Invent a hoax. Plan to fool the world, or at least your family and friends.
From the Shroud of Turin to the Patagonian giants these are 25 Forgotten Hoaxes That Fooled The World. You might just recognize some of them. A hoax is a deliberately fabricated falsehood made to masquerade as truth. It is distinguishable from errors in observation or judgment, rumors, urban legends, pseudosciences, or April Fools’ Day events that are passed along in good faith or as jokes. Even if you weren’t aware of its meaning it’s almost certain you’re aware of some of the most famous and “successful” hoaxes. Some have even managed to fool millions of people and last for ages or even decades. Take the Loch Ness monster for example. It may be easy for us to understand how a photograph can be manipulated (after all, photoshop skills are not that uncommon anymore), but for people back then, a photo manipulation was not something easily done.
However, there have been countless hoaxes throughout history. You might have heard of a few of them. These are 25 Forgotten Hoaxes That Fooled The World.
Source: 25 Forgotten Hoaxes That Fooled The World
The image comes from a restaurant owner in Brooklyn, NY, US. The idea is older. Tips for service aren’t a new idea but the feeling that a tip is owed for service is still fairly new. I don’t like a tip being expected and I really don’t like (and won’t return to) places which automatically include the tip on the bill. Tips began as appreciation for good service. A way to show gratitude. When tips become expected they lose that meaning. I strongly feel I am not offering to pay anyone’s wages each time I use a service. The business owner is responsible for the wages for their employees, not me as the customer or client.
How do you feel about tipping and a restaurant which bans tipping?
In Canada, a restaurant tried to go gratuity free but customers did not like it. The restaurant went back to the old way of paying staff less due to expected gratuities/ tips from customers.
Would you tip for poor service? I know people will do so. Tipping is so expected that people fear a backlash if they don’t tip and tip well, no matter what kind of service they get. Gratuities has become a very socialist thing – everyone gets paid whether they work or not. Funny how turned around the concept of leaving a gratuity has gotten.
I worked as a cashier for years and did not get tipped. The only difference was in the wages paid to a cashier versus a waitress/ waiter. The job itself is quite similar. If wages were paid – which was the idea of having a minimum wage – the service people would be making the same money. Tips extra. Would you tip all the service people, cashiers included? Or do you tip out of obligation to pay wages to restaurant staff?
If you haven’t guessed… I only leave a small tip. I used to leave none, unless I really wanted to. Peer pressure about tipping got to me though and now I almost always leave a tip. I begrudge leaving a tip for average, standard service. As a customer and someone who has worked in the service industry it feels very unfair for restaurant staff to expect customers to pay them and for businesses to be not pay them the minimum wage due to expected tips.
I do not tip for poor service. I may or may not complain about poor service but I will not thank them for it.
Think of something ordinary and give it a horror story.
I like reading about objects like paintings, furniture and dolls which have stories of death and destruction behind them. I do wonder if there is some truth to it. Of course, people who tend to live with risk, take adventures and such, are likely to have accidents and die in crashes or even pick up diseases. So, you can’t take every story seriously and believe it just because you read it.
However, I do think strong emotion hangs around in places and objects too. There are places which give people a strange, out of sorts, feeling. There are people you meet and dislike right away, without any reason. Almost everyone has walked into a room where people have argued and felt that tension – without anyone saying a word. So it does seem possible something like that could stick around. Possible but I wouldn’t say I believe fully.
It does make a good story. How would you write it? What object or item would you pick? Was it stolen from an ancient site? Did it belong to a murdered woman? What was the tragic event connected to it? What happened to people who owned or used it since then? Pick an outline and give it a good story. Try to spook yourself with it.
Source: 25 Terrifying Objects That Are Genuinely Linked To Freaky Paranormal Events