March 18, 2019. The prompt for Monday’s meeting was taken from the book titled, The Pocket Muse – ideas and inspirations for writing, by Monica Wood.
A Tip on Dialogue
When writing dialogue, every once in a while allow a character to jump to a conclusion. Conversational leaps add momentum to a scene and force you to get to the main conflict between the characters. The following dialogue is fine, but stuck in a holding pattern:
Donny opened the door to the landlord.
“What do you want?”
“I’ve got some items to go over with you,”
Mr. Leadbetter said. “It won’t take a minute.”
“It better not.”
Mr. Leadbetter edged into the kitchen. “To be honest,
I’ve had a few complaints about your habits.”
“My habits? Like what?”
“Like playing music after midnight, things like that.
Leaving trash in the hall. That sort of thing.”
“I don’t do that. That’s all Carter in 4B.”
Mr. Leadbetter glanced at his list. “I’ve also got some
complaints about the parrot you keep on the balcony. It
scares the neighbors.”
“So what? I signed an ironclad lease.”
If you open this same sequence by having Donny jump to a conclusion, in this case a correct one, the scene opens with a little moire spark:
Donny opened the door to the landlord.
“What do you want?”
“I’ve got some items to go over with you,” Mr.
Leadbetter said. “It won’t take a minute.”
“If this is about Junie-Bell’s screaming,
you can just forget it. There isn’t a word in my lease
about parrots scaring the neighbors.”
Prompts from Monday’s meeting, 3/11/19:
- List six reasons to like mosquitos 🙂
- Have you ever disturbed something that then had unpleasant consequences? Perhaps the phrase “opened a can of worms” would apply.
March 4, 2019. The prompt for Monday’s meeting was taken from the book titled, UH-OH Some Observations from Both Sides of the Refrigerator Door, by Robert Fulghum.
“UH-OH” is not in any dictionary or thesaurus, and is seldom seen in written form. Yet most of us utter that sound everyday. And have used it all our lives.
“UH-oh” is one of the first expressions a baby learns.
“UH-oh,” or something like it, has been used as long as people have existed. And it may be the first thing Adam said to Eve after he bit into the apple. She knew exactly what he meant, too.
Write about a “Uh-Oh” moment, real or imagined.
Feb. 4, 2019. The prompt for Monday’s meeting was taken from the book titled, The Pocket Muse – ideas and inspirations for writing, by Monica Wood.
A Tip on Style
Colors can be delivered as similes that
suggest something about the character’s
inner life. Your reader will receive a
character in a red shirt a little differently
if that shirt is described as the color of
spilled wine or fresh liver or SpaghettiOs.
A person’s skin can be the color of dead
leaves or dust or mud or newborn mice or
cocoa or cantaloupe or cream or plums or maize …
Write a character description using colors to imply or suggest internal aspects of the character as a way to lead the reader in developing a more rounded picture of who the character is.
Prompt from Monday’s meeting, 1/28/2019:
Write about something hidden in your closet or under your bed. It could be from childhood and it could be something real or imaginary.
The prompt is to write about something you had to let go of, or had taken away from you.
Is there something you had created and put your soul into and then you then found you were no longer in charge of? Was it something you passed on to someone else or had taken away from you?
How did this experience make you feel?
This prompt for this week came from a blog posting by Susan S:
Seminars over the years have given the same advice in millions of different ways, but the gist of the hours of speeches boil down to “finding your passion.” Once that passion is discovered, there is no end to the fantastic things that you can accomplish.
Out digging in the garden I discovered a root vegetable that found his passion.
It seems that this carrot not only found his hidden ability, he took that ability and over-achieved his goals.
It can be said that my carrots have a hard time containing themselves. I think that maybe this one deserves an A (from beta-carotene) for spectacular growth along with biotin, vitamin B6, vitamin K and potassium.
If a vegetable can do it, what are YOU waiting for?
The prompt is to write about your passion.
There were two prompt choices offered for this weeks meeting.
1) Write a haiku on the following subject: Your first day of high school.
The form involves a total of 17 syllables in a verse of three lines that has the structure 5-7-5.
2) Write about something that involved a significant change in size (of whatever), that was significant to your life.
The prompt for this week’s meeting is a poem titled The Refugees, taken from the book, Kneeling in Bethlehem, by Ann Weems.
Into the wild and painful cold of the starless winter night
came the refugees,
slowly making their way to the border.
The man, stooped from age or anxiety,
hurried his small family through the wind.
Bearded and dark, his skin rough and cracked from the cold,
his frame looming large in spite of the slumped shoulders:
He looked like a man who could take care of whatever
came at them
from the dark.
Unless, of course, there were too many of them.
One man he could handle…two, even …,
but a border patrol…
they wouldn’t have a chance.
His eyes, black and alert,
darted from side to side, then over his shoulder,
then back again forward.
Had they been seen?
Had they been heard?
Every rustle of wind, every sigh from the child,
sent terror through his chest.
Was this the way?
Even the stars had been unkind–
had hidden themselves in the ink of night
so that the man could not read their way.
Only the wind …. was it enough?
Only the wind and his innate sense of direction …
What kind of cruel judgment would that be,
to wander in circles through the night?
Or to safely make their way to the border
only to find the authorities waiting for them?
He glanced at the young woman, his bride.
No more than a child herself,
she nuzzled their newborn, kissing his neck.
She looked up, caught his eye, and smiled.
Oh, how the homelessness had taken its toll on her!
Her eyes were red, her young face lined,
her lovely hair matted from inattention,
her clothes stained from milk and baby,
her hands chapped from the raw wind of winter.
She’d hardly had time to recover from childbirth
when word had come that they were hunted,
and they fled with only a little bread,
the remaining wine,
and a very small portion of cheese.
Suddenly, the child began to make small noises.
The man drew his breath in sharply;
the woman quietly put the child to breast.
Fear… long dread-filled moments…
Huddled, the family stood still in the long silence.
At last the man breathed deeply again,
reassured they had not been heard.
And into the night continued
Mary and Joseph and the Babe.
The two prompts given today were taken from the book Mosaic – New and Collected Poems, by Robin White Turtle Lysne.
1) This is the first stanza from the poem, Finding Each Other.
Consider the way streams, people or ideas can flow together.
How can I speak
about the way two streams
fall from the same mountain,
meet, mix and flow together.
2) This is the poem titled, Ashes.
We threw them into the salty sea and wind,
her tiny bones clung to my socks, my shoes
I could not, would not shake them off.
We turned back from the sea,
from the waves,
from the eternal night.
We pressed our palms
to the wind, blowing us into
horizontal sea spume.
Her heart floats between
mine remains in the raging sea,
yours in the eternal night.