Saturday, January 09, 2010


I made some resolutions this year. Usually I don't bother, but I've been talking to my 7th graders about the importance of planning and working towards a goal, so it seemed only right that I practice what I preach. My primary objective this year is to write on a regular basis, but I'd actually like to finish a piece of work.

My blog's had a facelift to inspire me with a new look. I've pulled a couple of guides from my bookshelves to provide me with exercises when I'm stuck for anything to write about: The Creative Writing Coursebook from the University of East Anglia and Janet Borroway's Writing Fiction, A Guide to Narrative Craft. I know that the morning pages (Julia Cameron's idea) help to prime the pump, but I keep going over old territory. I need a little more structure.

Here's an exercise from Julia Bell at UEA: "Write down five sounds that you can hear. Then list the things you associate with those sounds. A car engine may remind you of being picked up after school, clanking crockery of that summer you worked at Pizza Pie, an aeroplane of your holiday to Ibiza." See where that leads. So excuse me while I go off to play...

Interesting exercise. The sounds often trigger a whole series of memories, a recurring pattern that could be used as a metaphor. They take you straight back to a place and time where you can see and hear and smell all of the details.

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