Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Great Exercise from Listen to Me's Lynn Lauber

In her excellent book on writing craft, Listen to Me, memoirist Lynn Lauber writes: "If you find yourself telling the same story over and over, but in a way you don't find satisfying, try changing person or point of view."

I've used this technique to get a new viewpoint on my characters, especially when I feel the icy chill of writer's block.

Try it right now. Take a story you know well, from your life or your writing, and tell it from someone else's point of view. Tell it anew, seen from your dog's eyes. Or your grandfather's. Or, instead of the fictional character Jason's, try his partner Monique's. Write for 20 minutes or two pages' worth. See what happens when you break out of the known voice or view.

Can you catch a new image of where the writing could go from here?