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ADMIN POST: Four prompts in two parts


writing is hard

ADMIN POST: Four prompts in two parts

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bert ernie otp
So, it seems that most people want to work on two things -- character and description. I've got a couple starter prompts for each category.

1. Describe the rituals involved with getting ready in the morning--everything from the time you wake up until you walk out the door. This isn't anything you think is exciting, after all you do it every day, but see if you can make it interesting for the reader without adding any untrue details (no space monkeys flying out of your shower, for example). Our morning rituals are often very sensual--not sexual, but related to our five senses. See if you can focus on the details that allow the reader to feel, taste, smell, see, and hear the same things you do.

2. Think of a color, any color. Next, take a walk--at least 15 minutes, though the longer, the better. On your walk, notice everything that is the color you chose. Don't take notes on your walk, just notice and remember. When you get back, sit down and write whatever comes to mind. It can be about your walk or not, and you don't even have to mention the color you chose, but see how awareness of details like color changes and informs your writing.


1. Write two original characters meeting in a bar, park, or on the street. They can be characters you've written before or two entirely new characters. Write the meeting without any dialog at all. Work on conveying who your characters are through descriptions that don't rely on what they say or how they speak. Next, write the exact same meeting in nothing but dialog. See how your characters change between the two pieces, if at all.

2. Write about a character's most embarassing moment. Write it however you want (as it's happening, the character remembering it, as described by someone else, as a newspaper clipping, etc.). Then, look the piece over. How does this embarassment inform who your character is? How does it influence them in the way they think or behave, even if no one else knows about it? If you want, you can write the piece again, only this time from the POV of your character's worst enemy--this is a broad category, since someone's worst enemy can be anyone from the bully that picked on them in grade school to a criminal stalking a law enforcement officer to a rival in romantic relationships. The purpose of this is to see how others see your character, since we very often want to make our main characters more perfect than human, and it's helpful when writing fully-formed characters to be able to see their flaws.

OK, so you guys think it's cool to work on these for the next week or so? I'm also working on a "getting to know you" entry, so we can all talk about what kind of writing we want to do, what our experience is, what our writing rituals are, that sort of thing.
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