Monday, October 16, 2006

Light A Fire Under ...

A close friend starts all of his writing sessions with a prompt or exercise. Having thus primed the pump, he goes to work on his novel. This has never appealed to me, but I decided to try it since the procrastinating approach didn't seem to be working.

Writer's Digest posts a new prompt roughly (very roughly) once a week. There are plenty of prompts archived there if you want to work through one a day for a while. The prompts tend to be silly and beyond getting me started, didn't help much with the writing task to follow.

I have a book called "Room to Write" by Bonni Goldberg which has an expercise per page (so about 200). Most of those focus on one's own thoughts, experiences, and reactions, which again did not really focus me on the next task.

Two others I found with a quick search (i.e. I didn't spend hours researching the best sites) were the Imagination Prompt Generator and the Story Spinner Online.

While this approach still doesn't work for me as a routine, it did get me rolling a bit. I finally opened up that Word document, wasn't too sickened by what I had written before, and started typing new words on the page.

This reminded me of two things:
  • Writing is a craft. A variety of tools are needed to complete the masterpiece.
  • Sometimes I can't attack writing head on. Sometimes I need to sidle up to it slowly, especially when getting back into a routine.

Your thoughts and comments, as always, are welcome and appreciated.


Blogger Cheryl said...

Prompts don't work for me, either. I keep up a 'prompt' book of my own, filled with little snippets that come to me throughout the day, pieces of dialog, etc. I also make it a practice to just sit with it and force myself to come up with ideas on my own. I rarely ever pull them out for full development, and it IS true that the really good ones stay in your head.

So far, my new office space is working fabulous. It's so quiet (unlike the main part of the house) and I actually wrote a whole chapter this morning before 8am.

October 18, 2006 at 11:20 AM  
Blogger Todd Wheeler said...

Yes, it's kind of funny about ideas. I keep a document of bits and pieces as you mention. There is one idea that has come up several times (scenes, ideas, etc.) and will be either a story or a novel. It's hard to not write it at the moment but other tasks need to be done.

And as for that office of yours, I agree with Dwight. Very jealous. I'd be happy with half the real estate of our desk.

October 20, 2006 at 11:18 AM  

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