Okay, this week I'm going to give you something a wee bit tedious (but OH so helpful in the long run) and something really fun. You with me? Smashing.
First, if you've been doing the warm-up exercises, you are going to find it's getting harder to locate information within them. Or you might forget stuff even though you circled it 3 times in red. So this week, I want you to start typing up your handwritten exercises.
What?!? you ask. Well then why did I hand write them in the first place, you taskmaster?! Because I told you to. And because handwriting and typing are two different things. Editing is too tempting with your hands on the keys. Hand-writing keeps you moving forward.
So for the first 10 or 15 minutes, each time you sit down to write this week, I want you to work on typing up your exercises. I'm asking you to do this now so that you are reminded of where you've been. Jogging the ole memory.
You can leave portions out if you were just blabbing on about not knowing what to write (I get that way sometimes in my exercises). It's up to you. I suggest typing up anything that has to do with the characters and story, though, even if you don't think you'll use it or think it's a stupid idea.
Trust me, it sounds like a pain, but it will be worth it. (More on that later, all you have to do right now is type them up. I have a master plan. I won't lead you astray, I promise.)
NOTE: I keep having AHA moments while I'm doing my warm-ups, so I've taken to writing a big red AHA on the page every time this happens. That way, I can easily spot it later.
Now for something really fun!!! (Don't you hate it when people use extra exclamation points? This should be outlawed. As if one could have that much excitement!!!!!!!! My younger students do it all the time for emphasis in their creative writing.)
For the next 15 - 20 minutes, work on this assignment:
(I must give credit to Geof Miller and Stewart Stern for this one. They give a very similar exercise in their program at University of Washington.)
Take any character you'd like to work on. Protagonist, antagonist, villain, it doesn't matter. Any character you'd like to explore further. Start a file on them on your computer so you can refer to the information later.
Go through the categories below and find the picture that BEST represents your character:
1) ANIMALS (9 photos to choose from)
2) FLOWERS (9 photos to choose from)
3) LANDSCAPES (10 photos to choose from)
4) BUILDINGS AND STRUCTURES (15 photos - or more thru links)
5) MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS (tons to choose from!)
6) WEATHER (tons to chose from!)
7) FOOD (tons to chose from!)
8) VEHICLES (too many to choose from)
My younger students get confused with this one and start picking things their character might LIKE (as in prefer). This is a metaphor exercise. Pick the object does your character most resembles.
When you pick the picture, stick it in your computer file so you can use it later. Go on your gut instinct. I tried to limit the amount of photos to make it easier, but that wasn't always possible.
After you've picked all your images, complete 1 or 2 timed writings (7-10 minutes each) using the startline My protagonist is a __________ because....
Sandra is a lily pad because she drifts in and out of life. She doesn't see the big picture, she can only see the sky. She's a dreamer. She has no roots on solid ground. She would drift wherever fate took her, she said one day in a melancholy mood and then she was gone. Just like that...
Feel free to try it using the CHAINING technique (last word in sentence is first word in next) or in one long sentence (no punctuation and connected by conjunctions).
You may be surprised how effective this exercise is. Write for at least 7 minutes. Let it really take you away. This exercise is very free-flowing... like a lily pad on a river staring up into the sky...
After you've done these warm-ups, write your new pages. Set you timer for 20 minutes and work on your script. Then get up, stretch, pee, reheat your coffee and sit down for another 20 minutes.
Have a great week!