Writing Zazen

Monday, 14 May 2007

Tarot – Flash Fiction Formula

Filed under: Card a Day — Shelley-Lynne Domingue @ 7:01 pm

I’ve mentioned that I found Mark McElroy’s pdf Tarot for Creative Writers and I’ve been playing with writing stories using the Tarot. What I’ve come to realize is that it’s become so much fun for me that I’ve been rushing home from work to write a new story.

Back in the day, I used to rush home every single day from work anticipating sitting at the table in the living room (when I still lived with room mates) and pulling out my steno and writing like a fiend. I’ve moved so far away from that person for many years. It often felt like more of a fight to get organized and then the television somehow seeped into my time and I was vegging instead of creating. I’m happy to say that I’ve been keeping the television turned off and I’ve been playing with my writing.

That’s really the key for me, there has to be a certain amount of play. It’s that beginner’s mind and attitude when you know that you don’t know what you are doing and you believe that with daily practice things will improve.

I’ve been doing the Tarot short stories and I’ve been doing the poems where I pick five words out of a box and try to write a piece using all of those five words. Play! It’s great to have that focus to mold and sculpt the serious writing work like my novel but there still needs to be some play for me otherwise I start to avoid all the work I feel I need to do.

Here is the Flash Fiction Formula from Mark McElroy’s PDF Tarot for Creative Writers:

Card 1 – Who/When
Card 2 – What/Theme
Card 3 – Want/Need
Card 4 – Turning Point
Card 5 – End-Hint
Card 6 – Midpoint
Card 7 – Dark Hour
Card 8 – Learn Lesson
Card 9 – Rising Action
Card 10 – Climax
Card 11 – Reflection

I use this to get me to write and have fun writing. I have no plans on rereading the stories any time soon. Maybe in a year or so. I’ve got more than enough other writings to revise. This is purely for the fun of writing. And Thank Mark McElroy for giving me that again.

Hmm and I still allow myself the really good televison shows like Heroes… two more episodes.

Mark McElroy’s sites …Tarot Tools
Made by Mark
And google Mark McElroy Tarot for Creative Writers to find his PDF book!




  1. Thats a great writing exercise. I really must try it. Have you published any of your results?

    Meh, I know how you feel about the TV. I can go years without a TV, just to get sucked back in again in a moment of ennui. These days I’m watching way too much, but at least I can yammer on about the TV with R the P.

    Well I had to drop by and catch up on what you’re doing. I’m far too sporadic about visiting my favorite cyber-folk. But thats the Gemini in me, bouncing around and landing where I land. I’m glad to see you’re writing – I hit a brick wall when I went through my recent ‘hissy fit’, but with the help and encouragement of my friends, I’m feeling courageous enough to tackle my novel again.

    May the Muses tickle your feet and nibble your ears, and scoop the words from your brain and smear them all over your computer screen. Well, thats the way my Muse works – perhaps yours is more gentle?

    Comment by Che — Saturday, 26 May 2007 @ 9:37 pm

  2. Well Miss Che, Thanks for dropping by. Yes the writing exercise is totally fun and no I haven’t published any of my results. It’s weird that it seems kind of personal because of course I feel the Tarot cards are pulling out stuff from my life.

    I too am sporadic about visiting my favorite cyber friends. It’s to keep up with all that we contend with in a day plus too much TV! ha ha!

    I’m opting for a rough muse right now, gentle maybe later!

    Comment by Silent Warrior — Sunday, 27 May 2007 @ 7:39 pm

  3. I’m so happy that the formula in Tarot for Creative Writers was helpful to you! Your post made my day.


    Comment by Mark McElroy — Friday, 2 May 2008 @ 8:12 am

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