Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Goo on Some Places!

Here are four possible continents that you could set your story in:

Asia Europe North America Africa

Now, here are four possible places that these continents can have:

mountain river ocean hill

Let's play goo!

You need to write descriptive essays that detail the appearances of these four places. In fact, you need to write 16 essays, matching each place with a continent. For instance, what is a mountain in Asia like? What about a river in Asia? The ocean in Asia? The same goes for all the places: talk about them and be descriptive!

Your essays must be no more than 150 words each. You need to be concise and yet descriptive at the same time. When you are done, pick your best essay and post it in the Comments section.

Good luck, and happy writing!

Monday, March 30, 2009

First Sentences: The High School Exercise

What was high school like for you? What was that first day like? It's time for a creative essay: you may choose to do it in fiction form, or you can make this your confessional. In any case, you need your pen and paper (or keyboard, monitor, CPU, and some disk space) - and you need this to be your first sentence:

"It was my first day in high school."

It's that simple! You can make the essay as long or as short as you would like it to be. Don't forget to post your work in the comments section, or post a link to your work if it's too long. Happy Writing!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Slow Isn't That Exciting, Either (Pacing, Part 2)

Although a lot of writers do write fast, many take their time to push their words onto paper. Some writers take this as inspiration, and think that if they slow down often enough, they will write something worth publishing. Some writers will even take this a step further and truly absolve themselves of any writing responsibility unless they get ideas.

As I have said in nearly every entry in this blog, balance is key. You don't need to write fast in order to be a writer. You also don't need to wait for ideas in order to start writing. Strike the balance in between these two extremes by practicing your craft when you can; but when you feel that you are burning out, and when no words are coming, you should not force yourself to write.

The same goes for writing your novel. Although some books make a show of keeping their pace absolutely slow so that readers can plod through the plot's muck with the author, writing slow-paced novels also has its pitfalls. For one, you should very well know that life does not travel at one pace: one day, you're rushing through the streets on your way to work; on another day, you are sitting in your backyard and not thinking about the time. Your novel need not travel at one pace, breakneck or otherwise.

Of course, this will vary from plot to plot, and from style to style. My point is, writing is not about speed. It's about sense, and if you can write with sense, you don't have to worry about how many words you produce during your writing sprees, or if you're taking enough time out to do something else other than writing. Practice, rest, and balance your life. Writing is just like any other profession.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Nursery Rhyme for a Story

It's time for a trio, this time of people. And it's time for you to write a story about them, where you can make them go through adventures, learn about the world at large, and probably win something in the end (maybe a cow, a sack of flour, or some tallow, depending on who you like best).

With 10,000 words or less at your disposal, you need to write a story involving:

1. A butcher
2. A baker
3. A candlestick maker

When you are done, post a link to your story in the Comments section, so that everyone will get a chance to read it. Good luck, and happy writing!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Some Goo-ey Dates

Today’s goo is all about dates. The goal of this exercise is to get you to shift your tone (and change your characters) from date to date, and from historical era to historical era.

You are going to write 16 short dialogues, each no more than 1000 words long. Each dialogue will take place in a specific historical era. Here are your 4 historical eras and 4 pairs of people engaging in dialogue.

Ancient Rome Medieval England Renaissance Italy World War II Germany
Husband and wife Lovers Two children Chance meeting, 2 people

So you need to write about a husband and wife engaged in a dialogue in Ancient Rome; another entry will be about a husband and wife engaged in a dialogue in Medieval England; and so on. Do this for all your pairs of people and historical eras, making sure to suit the dialogue and speaking style to the times in which your dialogue is set.

When you are done, post your best entry in the Comments section, or provide a link to your work. Good luck, and happy writing!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Let's Have a Bit of Drama for that Last Sentence!

It's time for you to get dramatic with that short story. You can make your work as long or as short as you want, and you can put in as many characters as you please. You only need to use the following as your final sentence:

“No: it wasn't the right thing to do, but it was the only thing that mattered.”

So, are you going to examine characters and their motivations for a dastardly deed, or are you going to go the literary fiction route and put in some meditative prose? It's all up to you! Just add your story to the comments, or give readers a link to it so that they can see how well you've built your story up to the last words.

Good luck, and happy writing!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Who Are the People in Your (Printed) Neighborhood?

It's time to make a story, and you need to search for some characters! Just follow the steps below:

1.Open your phone directory
2.Search for your name. If you aren't in the directory, get a name that is closest to yours.
3.Take note of the name listed before yours. Call this person Character A.
4.Take note of the name listed after yours. Call this person Character B.
5.Designate yourself as Character C.

You are now going to write a short story that involves Characters A, B, and C; specifically, you need to make Character A search frantically for Character B, and you need to let Character B chase Character C. This has to be an exciting, pulse-pounding, less-than-5000 words short story.

When you are finished, post the story in the Comments section. Or if it's too long, provide a link to your suspenseful masterpiece.

Good luck and happy writing!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Going Back...Waaaay Back...

What if I woke up and I was 10 years old again?

Lots of movies and books have made this their plot - and now, it's your turn. Think it's easy? You need to recollect everything that happened when you were young, you need to remember what it was like to be ten, and you have to superimpose your age-old (or slightly older) wisdom onto the entire (potential) mess! Are you ready?

You simply need to write. Make your work as long or as short as you wish. You don't have any word or plot or even character limits. You can cover a day in your life, a week, a month, a year, even a moment! Post your work in the comments section, or leave a link there so that others can get a chance to read about your time travel fantasies (or nightmares).

Good luck, and happy writing!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

An Unblocker: What's in YOUR name?

"What does my name mean to me?"

All you need to do is search the meaning of your name online, and then write - for as long as you can - about what the meaning of your name means to you. Has your name dictated the way that you live? Does your name mean nothing to you? Would you like to have another name? What name would you want to have?

As with all other unblockers, don't hit BACKSPACE or DELETE, don't stop writing, and don't edit your name. Just write! Good luck and happy writing!