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Just my imagination, running away with me

by on April 28, 2013

Actually, I should have ripped off a line from ‘Mixed Emotions’ for this week’s blog.  Because that would be a bit more accurate, in some ways.  Half of me is doing happy dances around the living room, terrifying the dogs and making my teenager speculate on how much she can blackmail for (not to put the pics up on Youtube and Facebook of course): the other half wantys to crawl under my desk and whimper in fear.  What’s it all about?  Well, my brilliant publishers Safkhet Publishing, not the ones that do the horror books, not that they aren’t brilliant too of course, oh why did I start this? Never mind it’s too late now.

Where was I? Oh yes, Safkhet Publishing.  They have cleverly decided that my fantasy series, The Banned Underground, should now be allowed to continue beyond it’s initial extension to eight books, and now continue until the end of: me, Safkhet, the world (delete as appropriate). That means I am going to be writing quite a lot more of them.  Pauses for applause, not a sausage. Better next blog post, with any luck.

Anyway.  That’s the reason I have been jumping around the house screaming in delight. Of course, Karmic balancing also means that I’m slightly terrified, as I now have to write more than I ever envisaged. So that’s what I’m doing: writing busily.  Which means i don’t have time to write this blog post, so you’ve probably imagined reading this.  And because I’m too busy (my technical author’s thesaurus translates this as too lazy, by the way) I’m going to indulge in a common author’s practice: here’s one I made earlier.

I was lucky enough to be invited to write a guest post for Morgen Bailey’s excellent writer’s blog recently, and here it is.  Unless I imagined it, of course. I will now implode on my own logic, so there.

I’ve had a few arguments with a writing friend (who for the sake of this piece I will call Doctor Sam.  Those who know her, will know who I mean).  She claims that I am wrong, insufficiently medically aware and probably stupid.  Charges that in most cases I would be unable to contest from her.  However, in this case – even though she is right, she is most definitely wrong.  I have been describing imagination in terms of a muscle.

 

When Wales recently humiliated the English rugby team (sorry, couldn’t resist) in the climax of the Six Nations tournament, the losing coach talked about fitness levels and physicality. I’m convinced that we writers need to consider our imaginations in the same way that a professional sportsman considers these aspects of their game.  I’m a fantasy writer.  So to me, my imagination is the most important weapon I can employ in the fight to produce an entertaining book.  And the empirical evidence has shown me that the more I make my imagination work, the more I exercise it, the stronger it becomes.

 

See, Doctor Sam?  Just like a muscle.

 

And one way to exercise your imagination is to write a lot of flash fiction.  As a reader of Morgen’s excellent blog, you have probably read quite a few of the flash pieces she has posted from authors.  To write a convincing story in a very few words is a test of the imagination, and if you have never tried it then I strongly recommend to you a diet of flash fiction.  Try writing a totally different short story every week for a month or so, or even longer.  It’s really tough at first, but you will be amazed with yourself after just a few weeks, and who knows? Some of those pieces may be worth expanding into full novels.  That’s worked for me. It can work for you, too.

 

Your imagination.  Use it, or lose it.  Just like a muscle.

 

I very rarely remember to put any marketing on my blog, so why not have a quick peek at my websites, instead?

 

www.willmacmillanjones.com

 

www.thebannedunderground.com

 

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13 Comments
  1. Don’t just peek at the website, but and read the chuffing books! 🙂

  2. Give me a chance, Will. My brain needs a bit of a lie down before I start flashing! Great post! Go, Will! 🙂 xx

  3. rebeccadouglass permalink

    First, huge congrats about the extended contract!

    Second–totally agree about imagination as muscle. Use it or lose it, in a way. And also agree about flash fiction. I’ve started writing more of it, right alongside the novels in various stages of composition and decomposition (sorry, couldn’t resist) (not that I actually tried). Now I’m doing flash fiction Fridays on my blog. And the kids’ fantasy I’m drafting now is an outgrowth of one of those flash fiction stories from a few months ago.

    • Thanks, Rebecca. I love flash fiction. I think I’ve got four full novel projects out of flash pieces I’ve written. Good luck with them.

  4. Yay! Congratulations on the extended contract, Will! I’ll have to clear some more room on my bookshelf for all these awesome new books… 😀

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  1. The Desert Temple of Isolade (Part 1) | Excursions Into Imagination

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