Part of being a writer is taking the time to practice, whether it be through penning long chapters at your desk, or even scratching down an idea while getting your car’s oil changed. My favorite way to bust through writer’s block and practice my craft is to set a timer for 5 minutes, and write with no distractions.
These 5 minute increments have helped me to solve major plot problems in my larger works, and even to spark inspiration for new short stories. By simply sitting down with the intention of writing something new, I am able to channel my creativity onto the page, and into the story in front of me. While not always resulting in award-winning levels of literature, the little time that goes into this exercise has big payoffs.
Below is one of my recent 5 Minute Fiction stories:
He reaches out his hand, and knowing I have few viable options, I stick out mine to accept. It was either that, or topple backwards over the cliff we had just scaled. I figure it’s safer to call a truce for a few minutes than risk an eternity of death.
Holding on tight, he pulls me over the ledge, helping me to find my footing on the surprisingly solid ground. Once my breath is caught and we have a safe three feet of distance between us, I give myself permission to look up.
Before us stands a mansion, piercing up into the soft blue sky dotted with clouds. Harsh angles send ominous shadows in every direction, and the creaking of the front gate releases chills down my spine.
We’d been warned of this place. We’d been told stories of the danger and tales of previously failed expeditions. I’d believed all of their words to be fake. Yet, standing here now, I wonder if our journey will end the same.
I don’t get a chance to let these worries last, because before I know it, he is walking away from me and toward the fortress ahead.
I want to ask him if he’s crazy, but I can’t choke out the words before he turns back to me, questioning, “Well, are you coming?”.