The most precise clocks we have are atomic clocks which are powered by quantum mechanics. Besides keeping time, they can also let your smartphone know where you are.
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.
Drawing from writers from Anton Chekhov to Kit de Waal, author Donal Ryan explores the art of writing short fiction in this piece published in The Guardian. The piece also includes book recommendations by Chris Power for budding short story writers:
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):
Short stories can be powered by many different ‘engines’. In this article in Lit Hub, author Lincoln Michel ponders about how stories are created by character, plot, form and language. For Quantum Shorts, we hope that quantum physics can be one engine that powers your short stories.
“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:
In this Scientific American article, scientists reveal the works of fiction that inspired their life in the lab
Pondering the relationship between science and science fiction, astrophysicist and science communication Graham Jones speaks to a physicist who has written about science; a film-maker who has won an award for her sci-fi short; and a novelist who once worked in scientific research.
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:
The opening line of your story can be difficult to get right. In this BBC article, Hephzibah Anderson explores the art of the perfect first sentence:
Here are some tips to writing flash fiction from Flash Fiction Online:
And a plan to finally write that short story offered by author Curtis Sittenfeld in this The New York Times article:
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: