Reading & Writing

Writing Challenge: Stream of Consciousness

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Once, in high school, my English teacher assigned us to sit somewhere quiet and write everything we thought for ten minutes. Everything. Stream of consciousness. Continue reading “Writing Challenge: Stream of Consciousness”

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Reading & Writing

Writing Challenge: Micro Memoirs

Some of you know I’ve been posting writing prompts on Wednesdays for a while now; sometimes I post whatever I produced from that inspiration, as well. At this point, I’ve posted so many that it seems whatever I come up with is a variation on something we’ve done before.

Now, I present to you what I’ll call writing challenges. Continue reading “Writing Challenge: Micro Memoirs”

Reading & Writing

Writing Exercise: Write Drunk, Edit Sober

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Do you ever follow Hemingway’s famous advice, “Write drunk, edit sober?”

I’ve never had great luck writing drunk. Alcohol used to make me write these crazy, horrible poems–the kind of stuff you might’ve written in seventh grade–and then email them to an old friend who found them highly amusing.

Only once have I written anything under the influence that I later considered worth editing: a section of a story in which the character had been drinking. It was like method acting. The character had some hilariously twisted thoughts that I don’t know if I could have written sober. Interesting thoughts. Uninhibited thoughts, I suppose.

So maybe it’s worth a try, huh? Let me know if you like it.

Reading & Writing

Writing Prompt: Laid Up

IMG_20180220_163252.jpgI had a classmate in grad school who became a bit obsessed with the idea that his protagonists should be somehow impaired: injured, disabled, ailing. He was interested in characters who were at war with their own bodies, taking the whole “man vs himself” dilemma to another level.

I didn’t think about it too much then, but since I got my wisdom tooth pulled yesterday, I’m thinking about it now.

Probably the most famous example I can come up with is Hitchcock’s Rear Window, where Jimmy Stewart’s broken leg is the impetus for the whole story. Of course, not all examples are so extreme. In Richard Russo’s novel, Straight Man, the protagonist is struggling with a prostate problem that always seems to act up at the most inconvenient (or for the writer, convenient) times.

So that’s my challenge for you this week: get your character laid up. Make him or her work against his own body.

I hope it’s not too painful.

 

Reading & Writing

Writing Prompt: Words, Words, Words

pexels-photo-590750.jpegMaybe this is more an exercise than a prompt, but this week, I want you to set a timer: five minutes, ten, fifteen–whatever seems right for you. I want you to sit down and start writing, and I want you to use as many of these words as you can before your buzzer goes off (if you need to look any of them up, do that before starting the clock). I think you’ll have a lot of fun with this.

The words: Continue reading “Writing Prompt: Words, Words, Words”