Free writing & Stream-of-consciousness writing

To begin as simply as possible, start punching any and all words/sentences you can think of into your word processor (or pen to paper if you prefer), don’t worry about how insane what you type sounds, just type. Think of it as a dream you are having where anything can happen; you may be walking along a road that stretches for miles, then there is someone next to you and they’re talking about how they love to travel, suddenly you are in Egypt, etc. 
That’s very basic, don’t stop there, write anything that pops into your head. It could be that your arm becomes disconnected from your body and moves by its own accord, it finds a snake and they have a ‘romantic’ time together. An enormous tidal wave washes that away and you see from the corpses floating around you that the entire planet has been engulfed by floods killing all land life. 
Sentences don’t need to make sense, words don’t need to be spelled correctly and a full stop doesn’t need to be used at all. Just go! 

Everything I have just mentioned sounds absurd, but this is how I first began to write. I later learnt that there were books written on this style/exercise of writing. It’s called free writing or also stream-of-consciousness writing. Look it up if you like. 
This should free up your mind and prove that you can write. After writing for fun with no direction, you can begin moulding a story that you are interested in and making it your first short story or novel. 


About matclarke

Writing became a hobby at the age of ten, boredom being a great catalyst. Whenever I had an idea I would put words to paper until something interesting was produced. I have always loved dreaming up and writing new stories. I wrote from the age of 10 and also built or designed unusual contraptions and created tools for working with assorted wood products. Creativity has always been my thing, however, no other person within my extended family harbours this same creative gene, so I always assumed I was odd rather than artistic. My non-fiction work has been inspired by my letter writing to government bodies and assorted companies, either to request information on a current associated issue or to offer a solution to an ongoing problem with (if a local government) traffic, public transport, spending, banks, etc. And (if a company) an idea for the product so that it could become better accepted by consumers, or in some cases, healthier for consumers. In December 2009 I came across a story I had begun a month earlier but so far written only a single page. I read it again and realised the story was not only interesting but also had the effect of creating excitement as to what would happen next. I immediately decided this could be a great beginning to a piece which could become my first full length novel, Wake (working title). The idea for Wake was born from a writing retreat on the outskirts of Bendigo, Australia. I had taken a break from punching keys on my laptop and walked from the small cabin into the night. Now standing in the silence with the tree canopy looming above, I watched the breeze adjust the leaves ever so slightly—barely enough to create a rustling. It was a creepy, lonely night; isolating beyond anything I had experienced. I smiled. An idea seeded: What would it be like to wake in the middle of nowhere with no memories and no idea of how you came to be there. Wake, is my first completed novel and I am currently 45,000 words into its sequel. I am also editing, Citylife, my second completed novel, and finished writing my third novel, Blue, whilst on a return trip from the US where I visited for book research. You’re welcome to have a read of some of my short stories on my website. Let me know if you liked them. In addition, my writing group and I have completed two anthology of short stories, with another to be completed in April. See my website for more information.
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