Is there a character or a situation worth pursuing farther?
Another variation of this exercise is to create your own word list, listing only words that in some way are significant to you as a person. Write about an incident in your past that you would like a chance to relive and do differently. Make a list: Start each phrase with “It would be crazy to.
More exercises will be added as time goes by, so please check this page periodically – the most recent prompts appear at the top.
Remember what Natalie Goldberg says about writing practice: Keep your hand moving. Write a dialogue between two people who have to share a seat on a plane and who are attracted to one another.
Stay with this “but” until you are about “but,” the most knowledgeable person in the world. Create a lovable character with one disappointing flaw.
Those 5-7-5 syllable poems that have a touch of nature and a hint of epiphany in them? These prompts are intended to help inspire your creativity. Go back to one of the exercises you’ve done since the beginning of class and edit it with an eye to new ideas, different approaches, clearer sentences. This isn’t even a rough draft; this is just flow; pure mental, emotional, associative pure flow. Go through your three pages and underline the sentences or paragraphs, phrases, or ideas you think are most interesting, provocative, amusing, enlightening. Do not simply make a list, but use sentences so you can experience the flow of your thoughts. If no response comes together for you, write three pages on what is going on in your mind, starting with the quote: “Where we are going is here.” or “Both ways are best.” or “What is the straight within the bent? Try your hand at any one of them or use them as quick ten minute writing exercises. If you are stuck, start your sentences with something like, “I am afraid my writing will. In this exercise we’re going to practice being present to what is around us and reflecting that present reality in our writing. You may choose the form: narrative or essay or dialogue. .” Now make a list of other things you’re afraid of doing. In this exercise, we’re going to use quotations as our jumping off place into writing. Think you might enjoy writing about some far-off place and time…or maybe even inventing an imaginary place and culture all your own? Here’s a basic exercise to help you define place, time, and cultural mores as a context for your story. Imagine yourself as a child, looking at your mother’s wallet. Some tips for writing ten minutes a day: Try to do it around the same time every day. Describe a lake as seen by a young man who has just committed murder. (Exercise taken from John Gardner’s The Art of Fiction.) F. Write about an object that you have an emotional attachment to or that triggers an emotional response in you. Fairy tales, anecdotes, short stories, novels, plays, comics, and even some poems are all examples of the narrative form. Spend 10 minutes each day for three days describing what you see out of the window. Since everyone likes a good story, it’s no wonder that the narrative is such a popular form of writing. Start a story with a word that starts with the letter B – any B, any word. Pick a particular time of day and a particular window. Put that character in the same room as you and a very favorite small child in such a way that the disappointing flaw is evident.