More Than Meets the eye


Each week I encourage my students at New College, Swindon, to read something new. It doesn't matter if you are writing a novel, a poem, or a play, wide reading can help you become a better writer.

I've chosen a few brilliant pieces that I feel are surprising and make up new realities for their subjects. 


Ange Mlinko is writing about poetry here in More Than Meets the I, but it rather reads like a poem. 'poetry is more plastic than sculpture, has more microtones than any formal musical system.'


          "Like birds, and yet so human . . . 
         They mate by briefly looking at the other. 
         Their eggs are like white jellybeans." 

Chocolate Dog by Shawn Misener on Fictionaut

"My house is your house is built by radio signals beamed from the bottom of the ocean."

Gazpacho by Shawn Misener on Fictionaut

"For a brief and torturous moment I could sense her presence locked up in the Tupperware, like some twisted and desperate ghost ..."


Free write about something you know very little about. Write down the word then write without stopping for ten minutes. What you don’t know, make it up. Choose an object, person, animal. The stranger the better. 

Read the above stories and poems to help you into the idea. 


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