What is your least favorite genre? What books do you sneer at in Barnes & Noble? What would you never write ever in a million years?
That’s what you’re going to write.
And you’re going to take it seriously. For at least ten minutes. Continue reading “Writing Challenge: Write What You Hate”
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”
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”
Who is this guy? What’s his story? What about these kids glaring at him? Who might they be? What city is this? Where are they going?
Write it out, y’all.
Isaac Asimov’s “Three Laws of Robotics”
- A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
- A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
- A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
Have you ever written about robots? I never thought I would, but it’s an interesting territory, especially when you’re not following a science fiction formula. If you never have, today I think you should try it. If you need a little more inspiration, check out my very own short story, “The Simon,” over at Sundog Lit.
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.
I 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.
How do you feel about Valentine’s Day?
For me, it’s a mixed bag. I mean, it no longer causes the anxiety it once did–I’m married, so no worries about finding a Valentine–but it’s still such a strange holiday. I like the cute cards and hearts and it’s fun to dress up in pink and purple (You should see my outfit today! I’ve got hearts on my leggings). I like having an excuse to eat chocolate with abandon. Continue reading “Writing Prompt: Valentine’s Day”
This is an exercise for those of you who are currently working on a project and might be stuck on plot or character development. I want you to take a character you’ve been with for a while and have them stop, mid-scene, and look at the horizon. It might sound cheesy, and it probably won’t end up staying in your finished work, but what does the horizon evoke for them? Where are they going?