This week I ran a workshop on story elements. The exercise for this workshop was more difficult than I thought it would be, but I feel we all walked away with some great story ideas. Our challenge was to take three random elements and write a story weaving in those elements. I used this list I found on Pinterest to choose from: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/83175924344624191/
The elements we had to work with made for some creepy writing. They were identical twins, a party invitation, and a locked closet. We took 30 minutes to write and shared afterwards. But we didn’t stop there. We went for the ultimate challenge!
We chose another set of three elements and incorporated them into the story we had already started. Trust me, it is not an easy task. The second set of elements we randomly picked were a campfire, a scream, and a small lie that gets bigger and bigger. Yeah, things only got creepier with these new elements.
I won’t share my final results because they are very rough, but the plot that I came up with was something like this:
Adrian receives an invitation to the popular girl’s big birthday gala. His identical twin brother, Henry, does not. Adrian goes to the party, but disappears that night. Henry starts a search for his brother. He goes to the popular girl’s house only to find it recently abandoned. The house is empty except for a locked wardrobe.
Spooky, right? The second part of the challenge, I decided to create a scene from the party Adrian goes to, but if I’m honest, I didn’t succeed in incorporating the three new elements. I think this kind of exercise takes more time than the 30 minutes we allotted. At least it really got us thinking and the spooky vibes took us into a genre that was out of our comfort zone.
Try it out and let me know how it works out for you!
We had another writing prompt for my writers group. The theme was Home. I don’t know what it was about this theme but I must have started on a new piece at least 10 times. Each time I scribbled the words out or tapped the delete button with a little more force than necessary.
Then, I thought I would look through my previously written work to see if there was something I could work with. This is something I have tried before to break writers block. To my dismay, I found out everything I’ve ever written is just crap.
Ever have one of those days?
However, instead of wallowing in it like I might have in the past, I’m moving right along. I set up a work shop on Thursday that will generate story ideas. You can look forward to hearing about the results of that sometime this weekend.
Until then, do NOT let writers block keep you down!
I chose a new theme. I was tired of how difficult it was to navigate on the BookLite theme, even though I did like its nice, clean text.
Now, I have a sidebar with categories and old posts. I’m also in love with the font in this Penscratch theme.
Enjoy the new scenery!
No workshop this week. Instead, everyone came with a written piece based on a prompt I gave them earlier in the week. The prompt was to write 1-2 pages on the theme, Lost and Found. This was my contribution, with a few edits from my group. Continue reading
This week at the Writers Club, we did a workshop on the infamous phrase in any writing circle, “Show, Don’t Tell.” It’s infamous, because it’s thrown around often with not a whole lot of explanation.
I wanted to clear away some of the confusion over this phrase for my group of writers. Or maybe it was for my own sake. Either way, rather than write a post about it adding to the confusion, I decided to make a quick slideshow summarizing what Show, Don’t Tell means to different writers and the methods they use to achieve the art of “showing.” I also threw in some writing prompts you can try out for each method, just for fun. My group worked on the first writing prompt and I did catch myself “telling” when I could have been “showing,” so let’s call it a success.
Let’s all just admit something. It’s hard coming up with characters out of thin air. That’s why it’s important for any good writer to stay alert and do some people watching. We all do it instinctively anyway, but as writers, we need to focus our full attention on it every once in a while. Consider it an exercise in refilling sources for your imagination. Below I outline a method that I follow. Continue reading