“3rds”: Creative Writing Prompt #AmWriting #Story #CreativeWritingPrompt

There is nothing like a good writing prompt to help get your muse muscling along. I, for one, enjoy those with a time limit as well as quirky rules to follow.

This one is called “Thirds.”

TIME LIMIT: 20min (This is from the moment you put your pen to the pad or start typing…and yes, we are under an honor system here.)

DESCRIPTION: Music is a big part of our inspiration. We all listen to music. But how much does music shape the art that we go forth to create? Are we conscious of its effects on us, and if so (if you weren’t before) how can we take this knowledge and harness this inspiration to create something fresh and authentic and on purpose?

RULES:

  1. Choose the album that you are currently listening to or listening to the most, and select the 3rd track on the album.
  2. Play the track over 3 times.
  3. Get a hold of the lyrics, go to the 3rd stanza/verse and then select the 3rd line. (If your song does not have such stanza’s then just grab the 3rd line in the verse)
  4. Weave a story or poem of your own around this 3rd verse and see what you come up with within 20min.
  5. Remember to include the Track you are working from via Youtube to your post if possible. If not, just add the title of the song and the band etc.

BONUS ROUND:

*Instead of using music, use a book or poem that you are reading. Select the 3rd chapter and the 3rd line, and weave a story/poem around that line, making it your own.

**I will post my results NEXT WEEK**

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Picture It!: Creative Writing Exercise #CreativeWriting #AmWriting #WritingAdvice

One of the most overlooked parts of writing, one of the main characters who seem to always fall into the shadows of the background, happens to be, well, the background.

I don’t know about you, but for me, when I am caught in the throws of an action scene or lost in the rivers of tense character emotions I find that I often forget to describe the world around them.

Part of the struggle for me is that I already see the setting so clearly in my imagination that I often forget that no one else can see as I see. I need to paint with my words.

When we take pictures from our vacations and look at them long enough, our senses become sensitive to the memories evoked by the scenes.

The next step in my struggle comes from being able to do so authentically without schlepping a bunch of words together without the needed care that the character-called-background or setting, needs.

In one of the previous creative writing exercises called, Coffee with Character, I encouraged you to sit down with your characters to find out the little nuances about who they are as people; dig in to find out the traits that may not necessarily be mentioned in the book, but that still have a direct effect on how your characters behave.

In this exercise, we are going to get to know the setting of the worlds we are creating by immersing ourselves within them.

This prompt is inspired by an exercise created by my eldest sister, and I find that it has great influences in helping to better express through words the images of the surroundings within our stories.

GETTING TO KNOW YOUR WORLD:

  1. Take a moment and think about the world you want to describe, from the micro-view to the macro-view.
  2. Jot down what comes to mind.
  3. Surf the web for stock images that come the closest to what you are imagining.
  4. Print them out and create a gallery wall of the images within your creative writing workspace. (Directly in your line of sight is best.)
  5. As descriptions come to the forefront of your mind, type them in a separate Word document or directly within the manuscript you are currently working on.

The point is to become so visually familiar with the scenery that describing it comes as easy as breathing.

When we take pictures from our vacations and look at them long enough, our senses become sensitive to the memories evoked by the scenes. We feel the sand again, smell the scent of rain, hear the kick-drums during the drummer’s solo at a concert.

We, by looking at the images, can tell the story of the scene as if they are happening a new. This is our aim with our fictional worlds.

This same exercise can be used when creating characters in fiction as well. Finding images that best fit their physical descriptions helps you, the writer, to become more acquainted with them. Seeing them brands them to your mind and opens up paths of imagination about them.

Give this exercise a chance and let me know in the comments how it has helped you to be immersed in and better describe the fictional worlds you are creating.

Right on? Write on!

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Coffee With Character…Or Tea. How to Get to Know Your Fictional Characters: A Creative Writing Exercise #WritingTip #Writing #CreativeWriting

Writing is such a cathartic expression. Be it used to create poetry, something literary, or a piece that is completely outlandish and full of adventure, writing is indeed a breath of fresh air.

As writers, even in the face of an activity so purifying we often times find ourselves locked in a position where our creative muscles have not been trained to go, or rather have no idea how to get where we are trying to go.  This frustration is no different than Yoga.

Original art by Candice Coates
Original art by Candice Coates

Sure, you have got “Downward facing dog” in the bag, but dare your muscles to attempt “Crane pose.” or “Forearm-standing Scorpion,” and you may find yourself stuck in between the attempt and nowhere near where you had hoped to be.

And it all looked to so easy in the beginning.

Original Art by Candice Coates
Original Art by Candice Coates

This writing exercise is all about getting ‘there,’ helping you stretch past the stiffness of your imaginative muscles, especially when it comes to the characters who are the life blood of the writing you may be working on.

In order to get ‘there’ you need to know the folks you are traveling with, right?

Here are some steps to do that.

EXERCISE:

1.Write down the names of the main characters in your book (and even some important supporting characters). Write them on a piece of paper or even on your computer (your choice) in column style.

These are the names of the folks you are inviting over for an intimate meal or even just a good cup of coffee, one character at a time or if you are feeling adventures, invite them all!

2. Consider the likes and dislikes of each Character: what each character likes to eat. What they don’t like. Who prefers olive oil over butter, how do they take their coffee?

3. Write it all down.

4. Now think about how the conversation would go with them.

5. Jot these things down in each column.  Do they tell jokes? Do they like the shakshuka you prepared? Do they even know what shakshuka is?

Bonus: Have fun with it. Treat the characters as you would any guest you were entertaining.

WHAT IS THE REWARD?

The reward of this exercise is to get to know your characters more intimately. The answers that you find out about these individuals are not necessarily tid-bits you would add to beef up your plot, but they are the gems that really get you in the head and heart of the people who are acting out the story. It makes the flow so much more authentic.

It makes the flow so much more authentic. By knowing these little intimate details you will know what things they will and will not tolerate while you work and weave your plot around them.

This information will stretch you from “Downward facing dog” into “Crane pose” without locking your muscles.

Happy Writing!

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

P.S if you don’t know what shakshuka is, follow this LINK! Happy writing and happy eating!

*This exercise was original created August 28, 2014, and has been revised.