Sunday, February 28, 2010

Wisdom from a Published Author

Published author Jasper Fforde, of Thursday Next and Nursery Crimes fame, did not have an easy life. He faced rejections and had to work another day job if only to get his savings in order. He has been writing for far longer than he has been published.

Read his NaNoWriMo pep talk here:

Life is not all rosy for the writer, but with perseverance and an openness to actually sitting down and writing, the art of writing becomes more fun and less tedious.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Love Triad - NOT!

It's time to write a story about a triad that you would normally associate with love - but you have to do your best to NOT write a love story. Incorporate the following elements into your story.

1. An anniversary
2. A movie date
3. A promise

You have your choice of characters and setting, but your plot SHOULD NOT BE A ROMANCE. This is an exercise of your creativity in writing stories that break molds and conventions. You have only 1000 words or less to do the job.

Good luck and happy writing!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Letting Go of Your Blocks

Unblocking can be a great exercise if you're feeling distracted and unable to write. One distraction could take the form of your irritation with someone, or your anger with someone, or simply just being mad about little things that people do. Unblocking may not necessarily get rid of the madness, but it can help you talk it out with yourself.

You do not have to watch your grammar or syntax, and you do not have to make complete sentences. All you need to do is write without fear. Start your unblocking by using the following phrase as your first few words to lead you into writing:

"I get so mad whenever...."

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Sad, Frightening "What If?"

On this occasion of Valentine's Day, it's time to think of a question addressed so often in the publication world, it seems so difficult to answer it in an original way:

"What if the person you loved the most died before you could tell them that you love them?"

Answer this What If from a first person point of view, with your choice of character and settings, and with 2000 words or less. Allow this exercise to awaken your creativity in answering an almost trite questions. Allow this exercise to make you aware, as well, of the value of people in your life.

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

And don't ever forget to tell your loved ones that you love them, no matter what day of the year it is.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A BItter "Complete It" Exercise

Filling in the blanks can be cathartic. It can allow you to be aware of your own biases and emotions. You don't have to let go of your biases; being aware of them can simply help you harness them when you have to craft your stories. Moreover, being aware of your emotions can actually help you become a better writer. If you can't feel what your characters feel, then in all likelihood, your readers won't.

Fill in the blanks for the following numbers. Happy answering!

1. If I were to ______ someone, it would be ________ because _____________.

2. ________ is such a ______________, and I would love to _________________.

3. Looking at _________________ makes me want to _____________.

4. I would break up with ______________ if he/she were my _____________.

5. ____________ would be good if he/she were more ______________.

6. A word of warning to anyone wanting to be with _________: He/she __________.

7. I was not a priority in ________'s life, and it made me feel _____________.

8. I would never get back together with ______________.

9. I wish ___________ a life full of __________.

10. __________ made promises but never kept them.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A First Sentence for a Bitter Story

Pick your plot, characters, and settings, and get set. Here is the first sentence for your story.

"He was a liar of the first class and was fooling her - while she had a good heart."

You have 1000 words or less to write your story. When you are done, post your story in the Comments section or provide a link to your story.

Good luck and happy (bitter?) writing!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Undo these Adjectives and Adverbs

It's time to unglue your goo. In this exercise, you will need to use the three adjectives and three adverbs below. Pick one adjective and use it in the same sentence as one of the adverbs. Pair another adjective and another adverb for another sentence. Use the last adjective and adverb as your final pair.

lazy sleepy indifferent
cruelly pathetically unambitiously

When you are done, use these three sentences, each containing an adjective and adverb, and form a story. Your sentences do not have to follow each other. Simple use these three sentences and fashion a story with plot, characters, and settings of your choosing. You have only 500 words at your disposal.

When you are done with the first pairings, return to the goo and make up different combinations of adjective-adverb pairs for your sentences. Try your hand at a new 500-words-or-less story.

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