Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Write a directory of characters for yourself. That way, the next time you have a plotline to execute, you will have a cast to assign parts to. Writing prompt: Take a handful of members of an imagined family or workplace and flesh them out as far as you can in an hour (personalities, quirks, fears, physical characteristics). Try and give equal attention to each character.
A full blast sound like a cheer or a trainwhistle is not startling if in context. But the second you put it in a quiet context (library, graveyard, hospital ward) you have an interesting conflict. Writing prompt: What happens to your silent setting? Take the first loud sound and quiet setting that come to mind and pair them up in a timed writing session.
Many an inspiring quote was once a straightforward sentence that simply resonated with its reader. Writing prompt: Pretend you have an assignment to write a gift book of 50 clever quotes, but you only have 1 hour until deadline. If you are able to get it done, you will land that agent you've always wanted. Can you do it?
A common symptom of writer's block is staring at a blank screen while berating oneself. Instead of settling only for inspired perfection, focus on writing something rewriteable. Which means it should not be great. Embarrassing, even. Writing prompt: Start typing that horrible piece of work. You can come back and re-write it next week, but for today you'll have met your word count (which is more of an accomplishment than everyone else still sitting and staring at that blank blinking screen).
Some people think that by flitting from one thing to another, you won't get a thing done. I say, it depends. Are you packing lunches or organizing paperwork, gardening or reading a book. It also depends on the sort of person you are: single-minded or easily distracted. And it depends on how you like to work: short bursts or a long session followed by a substantial break. Writing prompt: Take a character through a list of responsibilities giving him or her a couple of the characteristics above.
The goal of fiction is to chime in with the reader where they are in their own life, distract them or resonate with them depending on what they need, book in hand, in their own life. writing prompt: What are you or your best friend in need of right now. Write the Rx