NOTE: Regarding my earlier post about writer’s block, I just found a really good site on that particular issue, and I’m excited – not only because I think it’ll help me get back on track, but because there are some exercises I think will be really good for my writing. For example (and I quote the site, which is run by Lisa R. Cohen):
1” frame: Another Ann Lamott suggestion, to overcome the feeling of being overwhelmed by a project that seems unfathomable, is to start out by writing just what you can see through a 1” picture frame. She even keeps a 1” frame on her desk to remind her that she doesn’t have to write everything about the character or story all at one time—just what she can see through the frame. The 1” frame idea is a way of calming your fears about not being up to the task and allowing you to focus yourself on a do-able starting place. For instance, at this moment, you may not be up to creating an entire new planet, complete with history, ecology and a complex alien society, but you might be able to write a paragraph describing one particular alien eating what looks like a lizard kebab on a street corner one particular rainy afternoon.
There is also improvisation, which I’ve done before (I used to have a box filled with random words I would occassionally draw from): Have a friend give you three random words, then use those words in any way, shape, or form. Write a vignette. A poem. A novel. Use the past participle of the word. Use the poetic concept that means nothing to anyone but yourself. Go nuts. The idea is to shake loose parts of your brain you weren’t even considering using for fiction, without the pressure of coming up with a premise or concept, and it can produce some surprising results.
Okay, so here’s my challenge to you and me: take the following random three words and write something with them or about them. Write for only ten minutes, and then post it here or on your LJ. I’m going to do it. It may end up being crap, but I’m going to do it.
Go for it!
Okay, update: I wrote my ten minutes and here it is. It fizzles bad but it’s progress. At least I’m writing something. *covers face and hides*
A small hand tugged on her sleeve. Little Davey, perplexed. He was not so cute when perplexed. Definitely a face only a mother could love. Or at least, some mothers. Davey, Lisa reminded herself, was adopted.
“Mrs. Crinshaw,” he asked loudly, “why is that monkey playing with the green stones in his lap?”
“They�re emeralds, dear. Quite priceless.”
“But � “
“Shhh.” Lisa gave him a gentle shove, pushing him towards the other children who were ogling the monkeys and their “jewels.” It was really all disgusting.