Madelaine Baud pci1. What inspired you to write the prose poem/microfiction which will appear in Flashing the Square?

I was looking in the mirror and I saw a scar that I almost forgot I had. The family dog, Fritz, bit me when I was a kid (right on the face, thanks Fritz). Seeing the scar, I didn’t feel the way I imagine most people would feel when they look at scars. I felt quite touched. Of all the things I’ve loved and lost, it’s a blue-eyed dachshund with a crooked walk who will be with me right til the end.

2. Tell us about your process. (Do you start sparse and widen out, or do you write down every possible association and cut back? Do you research the subject matter you are writing about? Is it pure intuition?) Take us through an example if you want.

My process (if you can call it that) is about 80% daydreaming, 20% writing. I don’t sit down and say “Ok, I’m going to write a story now”, I’m just not that methodical. Generally, an idea will come to me and I’ll think about it for a long time (undoubtedly longer than I should) before I put pen to paper.

 3. What advice do you have for other writers? (About the first or last line?  About how to choose the title?  Do you follow any rules?)

Firstly, get a better process than mine. Secondly, just tell the story, don’t write what you think will make you sound like a writer.FTScover_version2a

4. Who or what inspires your writing?

I find it very difficult to relax and do nothing, which I think is why I have so many creative outlets. I’m not that organised and I could probably manage my time better, but one thing I’ve got going for me is I don’t have any trouble finding inspiration and generating ideas. Figuring out which ones are worthwhile and what to do with them is the trick. I find myself asking questions like “Is this an idea for a story or is it a song? Can I put it on a poster?”.

5. Tell us what you do if you haven’t written anything in a while and you want to get started writing again? Could you share your favourite writing exercise with our readers?

My favourite writing exercise is actually just a game I play when I’m out in a cafe or a supermarket or something. I call it “One of these people wants to kill you: who is it, how will they do it, and what did you do to deserve it?” Sometimes it’s hard to write what you haven’t seen or experienced, so pretending there’s a story unfolding around you makes getting the words out easier.

 Madeleine Baud is a designer who writes, a writer who illustrates, an illustrator who is pretty handy with a camera and a photographer who is really, really, really bad at maths.

To hear more Flashing the Square audio, click here.

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