Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Vacation Complete It Exercise

Where do you most want to be right now? Allow your imagination to take you there, and be more aware of how a place can actually make you feel better. Could it be the fresh air drawing the insecurities out of you, the sunlight making you smile wider, the simple change of scenery serving as inspiration for a new novel?

Take a shot at the complete it exercise below:

1. The place that I most want to be in right now: ______________

2. A place that I would never want to visit: _________________

3. My ideal vacation would be in ________, where I can __________ and ___________ all day.

4. I like going to _________ because I get to _______ with _________.

5. My last vacation was at ________, and the thing I remember the most about it _____________.

6. If I could go to one place and stay there forever, it would be _________ because _____________.

7. I want to get away from ________________ and ___________ would be the ideal place to do that.

8. My house is ______________ and it needs ____________.

9. If only I could spend one night _________________!

10. I wouldn't want to be stuck in _______________.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A First Sentence for a New Season!

In many parts of the world, spring has come into fullest bloom. Bring forth the spring of your own writing by starting off with this sentence:

"The world began to die."

Yes, it's not exactly the happiest start - but here's your challenge. You need to make a HAPPY story, not a sad one. Your story has to end happily even with the sad start. You have only 1000 words or less, your choice of characters and plot, and your choice of setting. You only need to have a happy story.

This exercise should allow you to flex your writing muscles as you shift from a sad start to a happy ending - effortlessly. When you are done, post your work in the Comments section, or provide a link to it.

Good luck, and happy writing!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Some Spring Goo to Undo

It's time for you to disentangle and colorize your life! Work on the following goo by pairing up the objects in the first line with the colors in the second line. Do this for different combinations of objects and colors.

roses grass water
red green colorless

That is, your roses can be red, green, or colorless. Your grass can be the same color, and so can your water. Your goal is to write three stories, incorporating all three colors of the object into a plot developed in 1000 words or less. That is, you need to write three separate stories about red, green, and colorless roses; red, green, and colorless grass; and red, green, and colorless water. The roses, grass, or water can be central or incidental to the story. They must simply be there.

When you are done, post your best story in the Comments section, or provide a link to it.

Good luck, happy un-goo-ing, and happy writing!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Last Sentence for the Month of Showers!

It's time to write a 500-word-or-less story. Pick your plot and setting, but have only ONE character. Your character should not be human.

You read that right. You can have one animal, one fairy, one dwarf, one pencil, what-have-you. Whatever you pick, you need only ONE non-human character.

You also need to use this as your last sentence:
"The rain began to fall."

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

Friday, April 9, 2010

You Have to Keep on Learning

A lot of professionals, whether they are writers, directors, managers, actors, dancers, singers, or scientists, often reach a point in their lives where they think that they know everything and they don't need to keep on learning.

As a writer, you need to recognize that this is a dangerous point in your career, and it is not one where you can simply interpret your realizations as the signal that you no longer need to learn more about your craft.

No writer will ever be perfect, and that includes you.

Stamp this on your mind: you need to keep on learning.

You need to keep on honing your writing skills. You need to attend workshops. You need to get your work critiqued by others. You need to critically examine your characters, plot, and settings. You need to learn and keep on learning. You need to read and keep on reading. You need to write and keep on writing.

Writing is a lifelong process of learning. May you learn new things every day.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

7 Months to NaNoWriMo!

True, it's still a long way to the novel-writing frenzy of November, but you can't simply slack off. Keep your writing talons sharp and precise. Keep your power of calling up words from nowhere. Keep your ability to weave stories. Keep exercising!

If you've already written a novel, and if you missed National Novel Editing Month back in March, now is the time to catch up! Who knows - you might be able to send it to an editor before next NaNo and get your name up in lights!

If you didn't finish your NaNo novel, you could try your hand at it again. You might see things that you never saw before, whether they're grammatical errors, logical loopholes, or even characters that were once cardboard cutouts and now so real to you!

Who knows what you'll discover about yourself?