- Write a pastiche. Go reread a few pages of a favorite writer. Choose one with a strong, identifiable voice. Then write a page that sounds like it came from that author. If a scene comes to mind, jump in and get it down on paper. If not, write a scene that comes immediately after the conclusion of the story you sampled. For extra fun, insert a character from your work in progress (WIP). Don't fret over decisions here, just be playful.
- Write from a prompt. There are a lot of these online. Writers Digest posts one each week. Grab a prompt that appeals to you and take it on a test drive.
- Write a gift. This past summer, in celebration of my father's 100th birthday, I started up what I called The Missives Project - one hundred illustrated, one-page notes mailed to him, counting up to his party. Other family members contributed, but I wrote dozens of these, remembering events or recounting thematic experiences (like Christmases). Each one energized my writing and made me feel good about the process. So choose someone to send a note to and get to work.
- Write for luck. Choose a happy moment in your life when things turned out better than you expected them to, by chance. Tell that story in a page.
- Write on a dare. That scene that rattles around in your head and can't find a home? Or that you feel you're not ready to write? Get it out. Put it onto a page. Make it a dance like nobody's watching moment.
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Joy to the Writer - 5 Ways to have fun
When you're grinding through a rewrite or stuck in the middle of a manuscript, it can be hard to remember (or even imagine) what a delight putting together stories can be. Yes. Sometimes you just have to trudge on through to "the end." But you might try a few exercises that can help you get the spark back.