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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Writing prompts, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. The Joy of Story - 5 Quick Ways to Rediscover Why You Love Your WIP

It sneaks up on you in the darkling hours of the night, or in the steamy shower, or in the mindless drone of commuting or chauffeuring a carload of kids kicking the back of your seat.

The idea. The brilliantly shiny idea that won't stop poking you and saying 'Write Me.'

You fall hard in lust. You can't sleep. You can't eat. You can't stop thinking about it.

But then.

It grinds to a screeching halt . . . Somewhere, you stall, and writing becomes a chore that makes your brain hurt. (Yes, that's actually a thing. You can overstrain your brain.)

How do you get to the point where you remember the pure, sheer joy you felt when you started on that idea?

Turn things upside down and approach your manuscript from a different direction. Here are five ways you can do just that.

1. Reconnect with Your Characters via Writing Prompts.

Some of my favorites include picking a particular character and continuing from the following beginning, with the added condition that whatever your character writes has to relate to another character.

I love when . . .
I hate when . . .
My greatest fear at this moment is . . .
My greatest hope at this moment is . . .
I would be humiliated if . . .
I could achieve my goal if . . .

2. Write the Jacket Copy

Write a kickass jacket description for the book, and if you find yourself tempted to fudge something to make it clearer, or sexier, or more exciting? Go back and write THAT story instead. Chances are, your subconscious is already fixing your story for you and all you have to do is listen.

3. Do the Meet and Greet Mashup

Picture yourself in a room with a bunch of twenty-something film execs. How do they describe your book to each other? Compulsion has been described as everything from Beautiful Creatures meets The Body Finder and Gone with the Wind meets Romeo and Juliet to In the Midnight Garden of Good and Evil meets The Sixth Sense. Thinking about what makes someone describe it that way, and thinking how else I could describe it, is not just a hoot, it's a little bit of instant brainstorming that takes my head in whole new directions.

4. Write the 1 Star Review of Your Book

Pretend you're one of the notorious Goodreads slasher/bullies. Don't think. Don't censor yourself. What things could you say that are so horrible they are funny? And once you've written them, how would you go about not just eliminating the potential for someone to say that, how would you turn that criticism into a strength?

5. Write the 5 Star Review of Your Book

Imagine you are the most enthusiastic fan on the planet. What would you write about your book? The gushiest of gushes, the ravest of raves. Give yourself ALL the pats on the back. Are you feeling the love yet? Now go write a scene that involves the thing you love most.


Figuring Out What Your Subconscious Is Trying To Tell You

The bottom line is that when you lose the joy in your manuscript, it's not usually because there's something wrong with you. Nor is there something irreparable going on with your manuscript. Untangling what's going on is usually something like finding the end of a skein of yarn. Once you find the end of the thread, its relatively easy to unwind it smoothly. But if you pull on it from the wrong spot, you just end up with a distorted mess.

A Happy Brain is a Creative Brain

I don't know about you, but my brain is happiest when creating. That's when I'm energized and I can't stop gushing about what I'm working on.

When I've lost the passion for a project, staring at the computer or going back over pages I've already written is rarely the best solution. I need a fresh perspective.

What about You?

Do you have techniques that have gotten you back on track when you feel like you're ready to shove that project in a drawer?

September Giveaways!

The count-down is starting. Compulsion is less than two months away, so I've got a huge giveaway planned for next month, and you can already get in on the action by going to CompulsionToRead.com.

But in the meantime . . .  : )

I've got a signed set of Veronica Rossi's complete, and completely gorgeous, Under the Never Sky trilogy, plus an ARC of Compulsion plus a Tiffany-style key necklace like Barrie wears.

Also. there are four Pick Any YA Giveaways, complete with assorted interviews, excerpts, tidbits, and one of my favorite reviews EVER.

You can find those here:
Stop by each of those blogs to enter--you'll get an extra entry for the Grand Prize giveaway below for each location you enter, too!

Good luck! : )

a Rafflecopter giveaway

0 Comments on The Joy of Story - 5 Quick Ways to Rediscover Why You Love Your WIP as of 9/2/2014 7:36:00 AM
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2. An Idea a Day: August 2014

lightbulbGenerating good, usable ideas can be difficult for any writer, new or established. While John Steinbeck may have been exempt (he famously compared ideas to rabbits, saying “You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.”), we are not all on Steinbeck’s level. To those of you who can come up with something new and interesting at will, I commend you. For the rest of us, here are 31 prompts for the month of August.

Interpret these in whatever way works best for you. Do each one, or two per week, or five per month, or any number that feels productive for you. If you’d like to, share your links or short-short stories in the comments.

1. You have two characters. One is trying to convince the other that he is telling the truth, but the second character knows the first character is lying. How does this scene play out?

2. Write a short story in which a pill is an object of importance.

3. Tell a story using only letters your characters have written to each other.

4. Use these words: spider, lump, magazine, bread box, asbestos.

5. Sylvia Plath once write that “everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it.” Use your outgoing guts to tell a difficult story.

6. A local woman has just had her first baby. She is on the news because her baby is __________. Fill in the blank and then tell this story.

7. Your first line is: “In this town, everyone is named after an object.”

8. You’ve inherited enough money to retire. What do you do now?

9. A group of friends are walking down the street. They see something unexpected.

10. Your new neighbor introduces himself as La Bamba Flambeau. He is a mild-mannered, middle-aged man.

11. Fill in the blanks to create a piece of dialogue; then, use the dialogue in a short story: “If it weren’t for _________, I would never have _________.”

12. Your character wakes up very late. He thinks it is Monday, but it is only Sunday.

13. Write an optimistic character who is placed in a hopeless, unfixable situation.

14. Two characters discuss their hobbies. Neither is comfortable being friends afterward.

15. Use these words: frenetic, business card, notepad, bagel, walrus.

16. It is 10 years in the future. Write a scene about your character’s everyday life.

17. A poet is in his car when he realizes the lyrics of the song on the radio match the piece he wrote last night.

18. Winston Churchill said “History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.” Write a kind history for a no good, very bad character.

19. A spaceship has landed safely in the Pacific Ocean and the beings that step out look exactly like all humans… except for one disturbing difference.

20. 100 years ago, medical science eradicated all virulent disease. What is the world like now?

21. In this scene, a phone call derails a quiet dinner at home.

22. You’re a contestant on Jeopardy! Write the scene in which you win the game. Include the topic, answer and question.

23. Write a short story in which a painting is an object of importance.

24. Your theme: Nothing is free.

25. Your character must mail something today, but the universe is conspiring against his success.

26. Use these words: tin, monkey wrench, banner, water damage, award.

27. Your character did something embarrassing in college that her family does not know about. What happens when her teenage daughter finds out years later? When her husband finds out? When the local gossip hears about it?

28. A character is caught stealing. a) Make your reader feel sorry for the thief. b) Make your reader angry at the victim.

29. “This is not what I ordered. It’s moving.”

30. Today is someone’s birthday, but you forgot until just now. This person is very important to you.

31. Write a survival story.


headshotWDAdrienne Crezo is the managing editor of Writer’s Digest magazine. Follow her on Twitter at @a_crezo.

 

 

Image by ppdigital via morguefile.

 

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3. Save the Planet Writing Prompt

Earth from space photo

How would YOU save our planet?

With Earth Day fresh in our brains, we thought it was the perfect time to feature a question posted by AquaCat586.

“If you could do one thing to help the planet or humankind as a whole, what would it be? Or if you could invent one thing that would forward the advancement of human civilization, what would it be?”AquaCat586 STACKS profile picture

It could be something real, or something you dream up, something small, or something on a large scale. The sky is the limit! What would you do to help the planet or advance civilization? Let us know in the Comments below!

To talk about more ways to save the earth, go to the Save the Planet Message Board

and meet lots of environmental crusaders.

— Ratha, Stacks Writer

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4. Three Ebooks to Spark Creativity and Grow Traffic

At WordPress.com our raison d’être is to do everything we can to help you make your blog the very best it can be. Over at The Daily Post we’ve got daily writing prompts to give your muse a friendly nudge, we publish articles on how to grow your traffic and community, as well as tips and advice on how to take great photos, no matter which gear you choose.

We’ve compiled a ton of great material into three new ebooks, made with love, for you. And, they’re free. They come in three fetching formats so we’ve got you covered no matter whether .pdf, .epub (iBooks), or .mobi (Kindle) is your jam.

365 Writing Prompts

365-featured-image2

So you want to write but you have trouble getting started? Writers’ block a perpetual, unwelcome guest? With 365 Writing Prompts we’ve got a different writing prompt to jumpstart your muse each and every day of the year. Looking for more writing inspiration and practice? Be sure to check out our weekly writing challenges.

Photography 101

photography-101-featured

Chock-full of inspiration, technical tips, and practical ideas you can apply right away, Photography 101: The basics of photography and the power of visual storytelling will help you take and make beautiful photographs and school you on post-processing so that your work can shine, no matter whether you’ve got a monster-sized DSLR or a trusty cameraphone in your pocket. If you’d like more practice with your camera, c’mon over to The Daily Post and participate in our weekly photo challenges. We provide the theme each week, you interpret it with your camera as you see fit.

Grow Your Traffic, Build Your Blog

traffic-featured-image

Most of us write, shoot, and blog for the love of it, though it’s always a great feeling to get a Like or a comment, or participate in a great conversation with someone who shares your interests. If you’d like to attract more traffic and nurture a community around your site, take Grow Your Traffic, Build Your Blog: Tips and Tricks for the Tenacious Blogger for a spin.


Filed under: Better Blogging, Community

13 Comments on Three Ebooks to Spark Creativity and Grow Traffic, last added: 2/20/2014
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5. How to Get Moving on Your Work in Progress: A Review of The Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts

Writing prompts and I mix about as well as oil and water.  I don’t want to do pointless exercises. Translation: if it doesn’t add words to my work-in-progress it is pointless.

When I received my copy of The Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts, I was skeptical. As much as I adore Martha Alderson’s Youtube videos, I just didn’t see how a book of prompts could get me moving.

Fortunately, Alderson has anticipated this kind of reaction. “While following the plot prompts in this book, no stream of consciousness writing is allowed, unless it applies directly to the advancement of the plot of your story.”

Alderson designed her book with 120 prompts divided equally among 4 sections—The Beginning, The Halfway Point, The Crisis, and the Climax and Conclusion. Let’s say you’ve already worked up the beginning of your novel. Now you’re floundering in the middle. Turn to that section. Seem to have lost all steam as you reach the Crisis? Again, turn to that section in the book.

Each prompt is actually a grouping—an affirmation, a plot prompt and a writing prompt. The affirmation is a “you go” section to help prime the pumps. Next comes the plot prompt which reminds you what you should be considering right now in terms of story development. It might have something to do with your character’s goals or the setting or even the antagonist. Last but not least is the actual writing prompt with instructions for a scene in your story.

The wondrous thing about these prompts is that they are designed to be helpful no matter what kind of story you a writing. Mine is a middle grade fantasy. Not an adult novel. Not a screen play. Not a mystery. Yet, the prompts that got me going could be used in each of these kinds of writing.

The first prompt was to write a scene in which your protagonist takes a step to achieve his goal. My character took such a step, and I pulled down 1200 words. The next day I used a prompt about setting. I always know where my stories take place but the details are hard pressed to make it into the manuscript. This prompt enabled me to move my plot along and set the story more firmly in my fantasy world, and I compiled another 1000 words.

Unlike many other programs, Alderson asks you to come up with your own goal. Planning to write a screenplay? Or a novel? See how long a comparable work is, then divide that number by 30. Write this number of words daily for 30 days and you will have a completed draft. All you need to get yourself moving are the prompts in this book. How do I know? 2200 words in two days and counting. Not bad for someone who can’t stand writing prompts.


Find out more about Sue's writing on her blog, One Writer's Journey.

*****

GIVEAWAY: THE PLOT WHISPERER BOOK OF WRITING PROMPTS

We also have five copies of the book to give away, courtesy of the author, Martha Alderson! After that excellent review, I'm sure you'll want to win a copy for your writer's reference library. Just enter the Rafflecopter form below for a chance to win a paperback copy of The Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts (ARV $14.95), or a e-copy—reader's choice! The contest is open to US and Canada for a print copy, and internationally for an e-copy. If you have problems using Rafflecopter, be sure you are running the latest version of your web browser and have javascript updated.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Good luck!

20 Comments on How to Get Moving on Your Work in Progress: A Review of The Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts, last added: 3/8/2013
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6. Exploring Your Imagination

Imagine a scrapbook of questions about writing, as well as inspiring quotes about writing, and prompts to serve as catalysts for writing, and you have Lynda Barry’s What It Is, a remarkable writer’s resource to help you explore your imagination and get your words on the page. The format and design of the book, which is filled with 200 pages of drawings, post-it-like notes, cartoons,

2 Comments on Exploring Your Imagination, last added: 9/9/2012
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7. Career Day

You’ve agreed to give a talk at your child’s school for Career Day. Not only do you hate public speaking, you found out yesterday that you’ve been fired from your job—and you haven’t told your kid yet. Write what happens when you go to the school to present.

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

Want more creative writing prompts? Consider:
The Writer’s Book of Matches

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8. A Mysterious Request

You receive a letter at your workplace from a high school classmate, who is now in prison. “I know I’ve caused you a lot of grief,” the letter says, “but there’s something I need that only you can get for me. Don’t tell anyone about this.”

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

Want more creative writing prompts? Consider:
The Writer’s Book of Matches

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9. Flash Fiction Day

Flash Fiction Prompt

Each day a lovely little website referred to as Flashy Fiction offers a writing prompt to a photo. Today’s prompt was a two-fer because it’s been combined with Friday’s prompt.

I had to do one for today. The opportunity was too good and the prompt too right-up-my-alley. So, this is what I wrote for the photo above. I hope you enjoy it. And please, stop by to see all the offerings on Flashy Fiction. You’ll be glad you did.

 

The Light of Meaning

Within me grows a tension I cannot place. What could cause this sensation of impending destiny, which perches like a vulture just out of visual range? Does my breath come short and quick because of unexpected claustrophobia at the looks of this canyon before me?

My friends don’t seem to notice how silence surrounds this place, how the scent of dust carries with it a hint of the ancient. Their shouts fall short of my space, leaving me in a personal bell jar inside these striped red walls.

Illusions of undulating Dune’s Shai-Hulud flash across my mind. I wonder if this was how Paul felt the first time he waited for that beast to rise from the desert floor. Would there be such a ritual for me to perform for the coming secret to reveal itself? And how do I know there is a secret?

Footsteps echo. Shock sweeps through me. I recognize them as my own, though I don’t recall moving into the inner recesses of a side chamber. Dim illumination draws me forward, faster as hesitation drops away. I must know this thing that would be.

Twists and turns, dried water channels of exquisite sandstone, bring me, at last, to the chamber. I burst forth from the passage, panting in excitement and terror. Finally, I see what has haunted my vague dreams for longer than memory reaches. It waits; one glorious beam of pure light.

Within that circle of illumination is the future I’ve tried to escape from and now run to in a sprint of desperation. Could my heart beat any harder and remain caged within my body? Could my responding body contain so much light?

A jerk, like that of a tether drawn forward suddenly, pulls me into the beam of sunlight that squeezes through a tiny overhead opening. My head arches back. My chest swells and rises, as if I’m a mere marionette and someone has yanked my string upward. My mind is filled with music, sweet and gentle, as it ebbs and surges through the channels of my soul.

Home comes calling. I have been away longer than I can imagine right now. My mind registers the knowledge of a previous, though, different life elsewhere; a knowledge that explains so much that has confused me during this life.

The music and light fill me with the purpose I’ve been seeking. All is clear now. I have come this far to learn that only one act of mine is necessary for my life to have meaning for this world; to learn that with that act, I have completed my purpose here and can go home again.

Is there any better bliss than such sure knowledge?

 

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10. Positive and Negative Perspectives

Satire on false perspective, showing all of th...

Satire on false perspective, showing all of the common mistakes artists make in perspective, by Hogarth, 1753 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

People talk about attitudes every day. The subject is always revealing. This morning I came up against it yet again, but in a different way. Let me explain.

I was brushing my teeth a while ago when I heard the toilet flush. Ours is a split bath with the lavatory separate from tub and toilet. I was startled because I’d not noticed Sister moving past me, either going or coming back.

I immediately inquired if she’d done so, to which she said, “Of course!”

Color me surprised. I replied, “I must have been really focused, since I didn’t notice you walking past me.”

Her response was, “Oblivious would be a good choice of word, too.”

I’ll tell you what I told her. “I choose to take a positive stance on this one, rather than see it as negative.”

This whole exchange may sound silly, but it addresses an everyday choice we make as humans. I prefer to think of the episode as “being focused.” The opposite take is “being oblivious.” I was focused on what I was doing and what I was thinking at the time; which just happened to be what I was going to write for this blog post today.

Sister considered it as less aware. One the one hand, she’s correct. I was unaware of her presence behind me and of her proximate activity. From her perspective, what I was doing took little thought and, therefore, I should have noticed her movements.

At the same time, my perspective informs me of my concentrative ability to screen out irrelevant activity while working on the mental plane. This does not happen when I’m in unfamiliar terrain or in uncertain situations. I see it as indicative of how safe and secure I feel in my own home.

Different perspectives? Certainly. Different attitudes? Again, yes, though those attitudes are informed by expectations as well. My expectation was of safety in my home. Hers revolved around momentary awareness of my surroundings.

When we move around our world, we carry expectations, and perspectives based on them, with us and draw conclusions from those factors. Whether those conclusions are viewed as correct are, for wont of another explanation, dependent on how other individuals interpret those conclusions.

The behavior of the world’s populace is based on these factors. Until consensus of perspective arises, there can be little hope for consensus of behavior. At least, that’s how I see it.

If one small action—my brushing my teeth and not noticing someone move behind me—creates a schism between positive and negative interpretation, how much more dramatic are divisions surrounding vast actions?

Give me your thoughts on this question. How do you see perspective and its role in the daily behavior of those two-legged creatures called humans? Leave a comment below and join the discussion.

Until then, a bientot,

Claudsy

11. Pumpkin Carving Gone Wrong

You're attending an annual pumpkin-carving party with your friends when one of them stands up and makes a shocking announcement. Start your story with the announcement and end with "And that's how I got my head stuck in the pumpkin." Read more

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12. Halloween Revenge

For the last 10 years, kids have been toilet papering your house on Halloween night. Unfortunately for them, this is the year you finally decided to get even. Write about your night of retaliation. Read more

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13. Office Move Gone Wrong

Your move to a new office building hits a major hurdle when you arrive for your first day only to find out your name wasn't on the move list. Write this scene. Read more

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14. the view from sunday

{a sunday writing prompt. If you feel so inclined, link to your own "view from sunday" in the comments, so we can all be inspired!}

5 Comments on the view from sunday, last added: 11/14/2011
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15. What You’re Most Thankful For

Not including people or pets, what's the one thing that you're most thankful for? Write a one-paragraph note that starts "I'm thankful for (fill in the blank) because ... " Read more

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16. Killing Your Best Friend’s Wife

A close friend asks you to help him kill his wife and, to his surprise, you agree without hesitation—not because you particularly dislike his wife, but because she's the only person who knows this one deep, dark secret that could ruin your life forever. Write about how you confront her and how the murder plays out. Read more

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17. Breaking Out of the Hospital for Christmas

Thanks to a chronic illness, a coworker has been trapped in the hospital for weeks and is bummed he's going to miss the company Christmas party—that is, until you and another coworker unexpectedly show up to bust him out and take him to the celebration. Write this scene. Read more

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18. A Church-Mandated Penance

Needing to get something off your chest, you head to the confessional at church. After laying out your misdeed to the priest, you are given an unusual task to perform as penance—not creepy, just unusual. Write this scene. Read more

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19. Christmas Ghost

While hanging up your Christmas lights, you are flagged down by a neighborhood kid who offers to help. As he helps you, he tells you about the Christmas ghost that haunts his house. What's odd is that you've noticed the same things happening around your house. Write this scene. Read more

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20. Thank You For Punishing Me

You've been convicted of a crime, but the judge recognizes that this is your first offense. Instead of sending you to jail, he hands down an extremely unusual punishment. What's even more unusual is, after it's over, you come back to thank him. Why? Read more

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21. Weekend Writing Prompt


Writing prompts can be canned starts to writing, but they can also be invaluable if you have writer's block. You can take a writing prompt and get hundreds of different story ideas - depending on your mood, your personal experiences, and how you connect with the idea at the moment that you read it. You can recycle the same writing prompt over and over again, writing from different points of view, different settings, and different situations, and then you could give the writing prompt to a classroom full of 9th graders and get another 40 stories that you didn't even dream of when you were writing from the same prompt.

If you have a goal to write something very day, then writing prompts are a good way to fill in on the days when you just can't think of anything good to say.

This writing prompt comes from "The Writer's Book of Matches: 1,001 Prompts to Ignite Your Fiction" Written by the staff of Fresh Boiled Peanuts at www.freshboiledpeanuts.com. In the book's introduction, it says, "Light a match and start a fire. You work with a prompt, you start a story."

A few writing prompts to chose from:

  • "Well, if you could accuse anyone of being downright evil, it would be him."
  • "I just had the weirdest dream about you."
  • A man aspiring to be a pro bowler loses to his young daughter
  • While digging in a cereal box for the toy surprise, a child makes a grisly discovery.
Another great way to make a writing prompt keep on giving, is to take it and change some of the details. For example change "A man aspiring to be a pro bowler loses to his young daughter" to "A man aspiring to be a chess master loses to his young daughter." let your imagination run wild!

3 Comments on Weekend Writing Prompt, last added: 3/4/2012
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22. Weekend Writing Prompt


More writing prompts from "The Writer's Book of Matches: 1,001 Prompts to Ignite Your Fiction"

  • "Being around you people makes me feel like a genius."
  • An army private learns that he has to go back to war for a second tour.
  • "I . . . love you?"
  • A man sneezes painfully. He looks into his handkerchief and finds something that looks like a microchip.

Pick one that speaks to you and get writing! Find more information about this book at www.freshboiledpeanuts.com

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23. From the Friday Mailbag

by Scott Rhoades

If you're a writer, you know how popular you are at cocktail parties because of the vast stores of knowledge in your head. You also know how much mail and e-mail you receive from people seeking enlightenment.

You also know that the above paragraph describes one of your fictional worlds.

In reality, you know all this stuff, or have read interesting information, and you wish people would ask you the right questions, so you could share your knowledge. But you're holed up in your writing room, counting paddle ball hits while you avoid writing, so nobody ever does.

One of the great influences on my own writing, a brilliant columnist for the local paper where I grew up, the late Ray Orrock (that's his picture over there), used to occasionally write columns full of answers to questions he wished people would ask. I'm going to borrow a page from his legendary act.

So here, now, are some insightful answers to questions I'll never be asked, from my mailbag that's always empty.

Dear Mr. Roach: Love your blog and read it at least a couple times a year. Here's my question. My writer's group always says my stories need more emotion, but where I come from, we hide our feelings. I'm not even sure what emotion is. Where can I learn more about emotions? --Bob, from La Verkin.

Dear Bob from La Verkin, I'm glad you asked. I recently found a web page (you do have Internet down there in La Verkin, I trust) that discusses several emotion models, and how different emotions relate to each other. Although good writers don't actually name the emotions their characters are feeling, it's good to know which emotions are available to them. http://www.deepermind.com/02clarty.htm is a good place to start.

Hey, Rotz-Dawg, I have a question por voo, see voo play. I want to write a book and I have lots of idea, but I can never seem to get started. Do you have any suggestions? -- Stan the Man from LeVan.

Dear the Man, you are not alone. Most people with an idea for a novel or story never start. But I'll assume your problem is that you're just not sure how to to start, and not that you like the idea of writing better than actually doing it. The best thing to do is just start. The beginning of your story is the part that will probably be rewritten the most, so don't let a bad beginning stop you. Just get something down, and get going. Or, you could do as the good folks at The Writer Magazine suggest in this week's writing prompt, and begin at the end.

Mr. Rhoades, This letter is to inform you of a pending law suit--

Wait. How'd that one get in here? Next.

Dear Mr. Rose, You know all, so I thought I'd ask you before I asked anybody else. What is the future of publishing? P.S. Are you related to Pete Rose? Phyillis, from Flowell.

Dear Phyllis, if I were a betting man, I'd bet that I'm not related to Pete Rose, since we don't have the same last name. I'm Rhoades, not Rose. As for your question, there's lots of hand-wringing these days about the death of publis

5 Comments on From the Friday Mailbag, last added: 3/24/2012
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24. Weekend Writing Prompt



More writing prompts from "The Writer's Book of Matches: 1,001 Prompts to Ignite Your Fiction"

  • "Hold on to something. This is gonna be wicked."
  • "She's in the backroom," he told the ambulance driver.
  • "Can you recommend a good book?"
  • After learning to play chess during his incarceration, a rehabilitated felon sets out to join the U.S. Olympic team.
Pick one that speaks to you and get writing! Find more information about this book at www.freshboiledpeanuts.com

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25. Positive and Negative Perspectives

Satire on false perspective, showing all of th...

Satire on false perspective, showing all of the common mistakes artists make in perspective, by Hogarth, 1753 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

People talk about attitudes every day. The subject is always revealing. This morning I came up against it yet again, but in a different way. Let me explain.

I was brushing my teeth a while ago when I heard the toilet flush. Ours is a split bath with the lavatory separate from tub and toilet. I was startled because I’d not noticed Sister moving past me, either going or coming back.

I immediately inquired if she’d done so, to which she said, “Of course!”

Color me surprised. I replied, “I must have been really focused, since I didn’t notice you walking past me.”

Her response was, “Oblivious would be a good choice of word, too.”

I’ll tell you what I told her. “I choose to take a positive stance on this one, rather than see it as negative.”

This whole exchange may sound silly, but it addresses an everyday choice we make as humans. I prefer to think of the episode as “being focused.” The opposite take is “being oblivious.” I was focused on what I was doing and what I was thinking at the time; which just happened to be what I was going to write for this blog post today.

Sister considered it as less aware. One the one hand, she’s correct. I was unaware of her presence behind me and of her proximate activity. From her perspective, what I was doing took little thought and, therefore, I should have noticed her movements.

At the same time, my perspective informs me of my concentrative ability to screen out irrelevant activity while working on the mental plane. This does not happen when I’m in unfamiliar terrain or in uncertain situations. I see it as indicative of how safe and secure I feel in my own home.

Different perspectives? Certainly. Different attitudes? Again, yes, though those attitudes are informed by expectations as well. My expectation was of safety in my home. Hers revolved around momentary awareness of my surroundings.

When we move around our world, we carry expectations, and perspectives based on them, with us and draw conclusions from those factors. Whether those conclusions are viewed as correct are, for wont of another explanation, dependent on how other individuals interpret those conclusions.

The behavior of the world’s populace is based on these factors. Until consensus of perspective arises, there can be little hope for consensus of behavior. At least, that’s how I see it.

If one small action—my brushing my teeth and not noticing someone move behind me—creates a schism between positive and negative interpretation, how much more dramatic are divisions surrounding vast actions?

Give me your thoughts on this question. How do you see perspective and its role in the daily behavior of those two-legged creatures called humans? Leave a comment below and join the discussion.

Until then, a bientot,

Claudsy


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