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12 Whacko Ways To Have Fun As A Writer 12 Whacko Ways To Have Fun As A Writer

Our manifesto: We cannot permit ourselves to get so caught up in the musts that we miss out on the sheer joy of spewing out sprawling crazy nonsense, of swearing and gushing and ranting and wailing out each story in its true unbroken form. Even the 'musts' can be quite enjoyable if we can only stop thinking of them as musts all the time.

'Break the rules' is quite as much a rule as anything else, because it is nearly impossible to do – because we are tuned to live by laws, because even anarchy is a kind of government, a kind of rule. So this book is not so much about breaking the rules as about making one's own rules, about letting it rip every now and then. Go loony for a little while. Forget about a first draft 'because you can always edit it later' – there doesn't need to be a later to this unless you want there to be one.

Going all-yo may not be an option for the 'aspiring' writer, but the occasional lark will not hurt either. Wherefore I suggest the half-yo approach. Reserve the blood, sweat and tears for your 'real' writing; for this stuff, bring along your favourite clichés and your most twisty long descriptions; sing and swear to your heart's content. Forget about what 'sells' and chill out for a while. Have fun.

In this book, I am going to tell you about 12 writing games that I invented or derived from stuff I read. They worked for me, but I shall avoid 'examples' unless they are essential. There is nothing so apt as an example to bind a reader to a fixed format, and I want you to feel free to tweak these games, chuck them around, turn them upside-down and inside-out. They have not won me prizes or made me truckloads of l'argent, and they are not going to: they have made me happier though, as a person and a writer. I hope they can brighten up your life a little too.