Monday, December 15, 2008
Alison McGhee, writing instructor and author of many wonderful novels including Shadow Baby, once taught a very effective exercise in a writing class I attended. She had three lists on the whiteboard: people, different ages (such as 13 year old, 2 year old), and different objects. She asked us to choose one from each list and write a scene.
I loved it. It led to the pivotal theme for my new novel, Qualities of Light, which will be published in 2009 by Spinsters Ink.
Here's an adaptation of Alison's idea. You can try it this week, if you want. It's very effective for getting out of a writing rut.
Set a timer for 20 minutes. Write a scene that takes place in one of these places:
in a bus stop shelter in downtown Minneapolis
at O'Hare's airport security
streetside cafe in Gordes, France
laundromat in Gillette, Wyoming
riverside picnic area
Where there's an argument about one of these objects:
piece of sea glass
cell phone that doesn't work
Mix them up--one from each list--and see what happens!
Posted by Mary Carroll Moore at 7:54 AM