“Use Words from Unusual Places” (PubSub3rdFri December) by Joan Y. Edwards
After listening to John Claude Bemis at the SCBWI conference, I ordered a book that has exercises similar to the ones he mentioned at the conference. It is called Writing Open the Mind by Andy Couturier http://www.amazon.com/Writing-Open-Mind-Tapping-Subconscious/dp/B004JZWVOU/
In this book, Couturier has many exercises to experiment using different words, settings, plots, and all parts that go into writing in general. It was fun for me to use words from unusual, random places. It gave me many new words and ideas for my project for National Novel Writing Month. Perhaps it’ll help you with your writing, too.
I changed one of his activities a bit. Here are suggestions:
- ten of your favorite settings, places you’d like to be; ten settings where you’d most hate being.
- ten names you like; ten names you hate.
- ten towns you like. ten towns you’d hate to be from (perhaps your antagonist can be from there)
- ten tragic things that could happen to the main character in your work in progress; ten ways your character can make them worse.
- ten jobs you’d love to have; ten jobs you’d hate to have
- ten most proud things that could happen to you or to your main character; ten most embarrassing things that could happen to you or to your main character
- ten of your favorite foods; ten of your most hated foods
- ten of your favorite sayings; ten of your most hated sayings
Choose these words while browsing the newspapers, magazines, books that you are currently reading, websites, dictionaries, maps, television, movies, etc. You can even use words you hear your family and friends say. Write down words that pop out at you, that you magnetize you. I even used a crossword puzzle book. I wrote down all the words that called out to me.
I put my words at the bottom of the manuscript I was writing in the computer at the time. I did free writing or writing that came to mind that was in tune with the story. When I used the word, I deleted it from the list. You could write them on a piece of paper next to the computer and cross them off when you use them, too. Choose a way that suits you.
Set the timer and write 3 minutes using one of the words. Spend the next three minutes disagreeing with everything you wrote the first three minutes. That’ll add tension to your story. You can save this as a draft and use what you want and discard the other or save it for another time and another story.
Here are three possible online timers that may work for you: http://timberfrog.com/countdown/, http://www.online-stopwatch.com/full-screen-stopwatch/, and http://timer.onlineclock.net/.
December is a great month for giving. Truthfully, every month is a great month for giving. It is in giving that we receive the most wonderful things in return, thankfulness, love, and appreciation. This month I’d like for you to honor yourself and submit one of your quality manuscripts to a publisher, agent, or contest. If it hasn’t been critiqued, let your critique group read it and give you their opinions, then follow the directions for Pub Sub 3rd Fri.
Week 1 https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/week-1/ Get your work critiqued; Choose a publisher, agent, or contests. Copy guidelines.
Week 2 https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/week-2/ Write your pitch, query letter, cover letter.
Week 3 https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/week-3/ Print everything out. Read it over and proof it. Make Corrections. Send it off. The day to Pub Sub is Friday, December 21, 2011.
Week 4 https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/week-4/ Live it up; Get new ideas. Celebrate you. Merry Christmas. Happy Hannukah. Happy whatever holiday you are celebrating. I’m glad that God made you. It is an honor to have you read my blog.
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Believe in Yourself
Submit Your Manuscript This Month
Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2011 Joan Y. Edwards
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