Ideas at the heart of quantum theory, to do with randomness and the character of the molecules that make up the physical matter of our brains, lead some researchers to suggest humans can’t have free will.
We’ve rounded up some guides to writing fiction - long and short - to help get your mind whirling, your pen scribbling or your fingers clicking. We’ve also thrown in some links to articles about sci-fi writing, and the history of science inspiring fiction (and vice-versa). Happy reading.
Here’s how short-story author David Gaffney describes his 150-word tales: “These stories, small as they were, had a huge appetite; little fat monsters that gobbled up ideas like chicken nuggets.” He’s put together some advice for other writers looking to short, which was published in The Guardian:
Also in The Guardian, modern-day authors share their “ten rules for writing” (they aren’t for flash fiction particularly, but some can still apply):
“A short story must have single mood and every sentence must build towards it,” said renowned American writer Edgar Allan Poe. His quote is included in the book “Advice to Writers” by Jon Winokur, “a compendium of quotes, anecdotes, and writerly wisdom from a dazzling array of literary lights”. Some highlights appear on the brain pickings blog:
Here are some great posts by Scientific American’s bloggers about inspiration flowing between science and fiction:
On the website io9 “we come from the future”, find a run-down of breakable rules in sci-fi writing:
Did you know there was a National Flash Fiction Day on 22 June 2013? This British website has some great resources and stories:
And some help with openings from Flashfiction.net:
Last but not least, reading is always a good prelude to writing. If you want to sample flash fiction from a variety of genres, check out these sites: