Monday, February 08, 2010

WordPlay! WriteNet Week 4

According to news stories, Drew Brees, quarterback for the Super Bowl Champions New Orleans Saints, woke up and asked his wife, "Did it really happen?" For him, realization of a lifelong fantasy seemed like a dream. For writers, turning our fantasies into real stories is not only a possibility but a definite intention. As I watched the Super Bowl yesterday, there were certain parallels I observed between the game of football and the craft of writing.

First and Ten

Each series of plays begins with a first down. The team has four chances to advance the ball ten yards before relinquishing the field to the other team. Similarly, a writer starts witha ten minute writing exercise or prompt to move the writing into gear.

Pass Play vs. Running Play

The quaterback chooses between passing the ball (typically in an effort to gain a big chunk of yardage or a running play, often used to grind out shorter yardage. In the same way, a writer can use an exercise for short yardage to stimulate the imagination or a more extended effort, such as an essay or short story.


External Exercises

(see week 1 for details)

1. Observation Exercise

2. Reading Report

3. Writing Journal

Writing Exercises February 8, 2010

1. "Life is like a box of chocolates." Start with this line and keep writing.

2. Think about a weather phenomenon (e.g. hurricane, tornado, blizzard, windstorm, tsunami, etc.). Now describe your emotional state as the event that came to mind.

3. Open a telephone book and randomly select a name. Now write a story about an incident in that person's life.

4. It is four a.m. You are awakened by the ringing telephone. Write about what happens next.

As always, these prompts are merely suggestions to jumpstart your imagination when other ideas are not vigorously trying to make their way onto the blank page. Feel free to bypass these ideas if there are others already working their way out of your imagination. Remember to keep your hand moving in order to bypass the inner critic. Have fun and chase those ideas to the end zone, like a running back sprinting away from his defensive counterpart and making the touchdown. Enjoy the exhilaration of writing your ideas and tickling your imagination.

There is no wrong way to do it: just WRITE!

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