Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Wednesdays Writers Tips... Jump start your creativity



Sometimes we need a little jolt to get us thinking creatively. One way is writing exercises. Maybe that sounds too academic. How about writing games?

Take Ten for Writers by Bonnie Neubauer contains 100 exercises (that seem more like games) to "Generate ideas and stimulate your writing in only 10 minutes a day".

The book is fun and colorful with lots of graphics to stimulate your mind. Exercises start with a theme, or a scenario, then you pick a number between 1 and 10 and turn the page. On the next page is a list of idioms, word pairs, clich├ęs, objects, events, and a whole lot more. You're then guided to use these elements in a short piece of writing.

For example, exercise #51 suggests that you staple three pages together. Choose a number from 1 to 10.  On the next page is a list of unending sentences numbered 1 to 10.
The choices for exercise #51 are:

  1. Hidden beneath the stack of...
  2. Like a pole-vaulter...
  3. The smell of turpentine...
  4. Not to point a finger...
  5. The rescue dog...
  6. It was a modest...
  7. The deep-sea diver...
  8. The chocolate sauce...
  9. Inhaling the...
  10. In the middle of Times Square...

The object is to start writing on the first of your three pages with the sentence you picked, and write to the end of the page even if it is unfinished, even if the last sentence is unfinished. Copy the last sentence to the top of the second page, then put the pages away for two months. Mark your calendar. After two months, without looking at page one, start writing from the sentence you copied to the top of page two and write to the bottom of the page. Copy the last sentence to the top of page three and put it away for two months. Repeat. There doesn't need to be any continuity between the pages.

Besides the exercises, there are also tips on each page for expanding on the exercise, or doing it with others.

Who knows, the germ of a new novel or short story might be born.

Do you have a favorite way to jump start your creativity?

No comments:

Post a Comment