James Oswald


Energy-mining is dull work. Nannying a behemoth around the dark reaches of the galaxy in search of exotic materials to plunder means hours spent with nothing to do. Just don't tinker with the control mechanisms.



Put some Jam on it. What a first line. This story came from that line, nothing else. It was the first thing I thought of. I wrote it down and then made up what comes next. No planning, no great theme, no satire, just one idea sparking another and another, cascading down to something which may or may not be a story at the end of the day. As writing methods go, this one has a lot to recommend it. You don't waste time in plotting or character building. There's no endless hours of creating backstory. You just sit down and write. Anything at all. On the down side, it can lead to confused plots, unbelievable characters, logical inconsistencies and ultimately a story which is both meaningless and dull. Which is why most writers don't adopt it as a technique, I guess. Still, if you fancy writing a short story try it some time. Think up a sentence, something someone might say or some situation. Then let your imagination flow. If it turns out crap, throw it away and start again. Or post it on your website and try to persuade people that it is creative genius at work. You never know - they might just believe you.



A downloadable file of this story will be made available soon. Please check back, or contact me for publication details.