Monthly Archives: September 2014

Writing Prompt #4

Obsession List

This is one of my favs. It comes from Dramaturg and Artistic Director of nightswimming theatre, Brian Quirt.

Write down everything you’re obsessed with. Big, little, it doesn’t matter. Whatever is on the forefront of your mind. It can be in general or what you’re obsessed with today.

Once you have completed your list, take a quick glance and circle the first obsession (or first word) that jumps out at you. Let that be your starting point for a new short piece.

Brian will be teaching Playwriting and Dramaturgy at The Tarragon Theatre in January of 2015.

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Enjoy.

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Writing Prompt #3

105 - Writing Prompt #3

Photo – Carnival Dragon

Use this photo as inspiration! Try not to think about it too long. Just write the first thing that comes into your head. Your piece can be any length, any genre, any medium.

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Enjoy.

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Writing Prompt #2

104 - Wallet

Words In Your Wallet

This is a great prompt I learned from playwright and Artist Director of Cahoots Theatre, Marjorie Chan.

Write down every word you can find in your wallet. The more words you have the better. Now using those words write a piece which describes who you are and what you’re about. You’re allowed to repeat the use of a word but you CANNOT add any words. You do not have to use proper sentences. For example, I took a small selection of my wallet words and wrote a little poem.

about me
must balance life
this spouse
this doogie
this home
this health
a special gift

…Okay, I’m not a poet. But it was great warm up exercise. (It’s also surprising just how much your wallet reveals about you!)

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Enjoy.

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Writing Prompt #1

103 - Loonie-Toonie-400x218

The Coin

Choose a coin out of your wallet (or if you’re like my husband, out of the pile of change you use to mark your territory). Look at the year it was minted. What happened in world events during that year? What happened to YOU during that year? Use that event (or series of events) as a starting point. If the year really doesn’t speak to you imagine what would have happened in an parallel universe during that time.

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Enjoy!

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And now for something different…

I love writing about writing. I do. But I’m starting to run short on time. I don’t want to stop blogging, but I also need more time for my own storytelling. So I’ve made a decision…

For one year, starting on Sunday September 7th, all of my articles will be writing prompts. If you choose to subscribe (and I hope you will!) you will receive a new writing prompt every Sunday. You can use it as a writing exercise or as a way to start a new piece. Please feel free to post your piece in my comments section.

Enjoy!

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“Yes, and…”

It’s a game.

Actors who study improvisation are taught that no matter what happens in a scene, just go with it. Example:

Person 1: “Look, there’s a purple elephant!”
Person 2: “Yes, and a little old lady is riding him.”
Person 1: “Yes, and they are headed for that ice cream stand.”

And on it goes. If someone says no:

Person 1: “Look, there’s a purple elephant!”
Person 2: “No, there’s not.”

The game is over.

This teaches actors how to accept, how to trust, how to keep the game going. You can easily adapt this to your writing.

“Are you going to finish a chapter this week?”
“Yes, and I will be starting the next one.”

“Are you going to submit your short story for publication?”
“Yes, and I will have a list of places to send it if it is rejected.”

Nervous? Afraid? Do it anyway. Don’t say no. Don’t end the game.

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