It has been a question posed to many of us. Someone hears that you are attending a creative writing class and the conversation naturally swings. Queries about being published and what kind of book you are writing can catch a person off guard if classes are a new direction.
Not all who attend are published. Everyone doesn’t feel the need to write a book. Some classes are designed simply to work out those mental cobwebs, to strengthen the creative drive, or to enjoy the company of other writers while trying group activities.
The Vernonia Library Writers Group met on 2/18 with the prompt; I was told to write a book…
For those who have no intention of publication, this was a stretch of the imagination, yet the 20 minute silent writing that followed created some interesting thoughts on the possibilities. The prompt also led to discussion regarding the practice of putting your writing out on a limb. Try a prompt that is not your style, something you are not comfortable with, dive in to an outlandish thought. Give those brain cells a good workout and see where it leads you!
The town of Vernonia has several activities planned for St. Patrick’s Day which would be the normal date that the Writer Group would meet, so we are going to be taking the month off to enjoy the festivities with the next class scheduled for April 21 at 6 pm.
In the meantime, attendees are working on a writing prompt: Logical Reasoning. We discussed stories that followed a logical path and those thoughts that do not follow linear reasoning. During the next class on April 21, the group will be dissecting and outlining paragraphs to trace the rational thoughts of a story. Hope to see you there.
This is the prompt from Vernonia Library Writers Group prompt for July 16: Writing Dialog.
The introduction to the prompt began with reading aloud 10 lines of dialog that had no other information as to who was talking or how it was said, just dialog. It could have been a scene in a play or just a casual conversation. After reading the dialog, the group discussed if they could distinguish the characters by the lines they spoke. Male, female, young, old, local or from somewhere else, and if this was a current exchange, from days gone by, or from the future; the dialog created characters.
The class was given 15 minutes to write their own dialog. The class dissected each members dialog to reveal who the characters were by their dialog. Some were very precise to what the writer had in mind. One person had three people in their dialog. This led to a good discussion about ways to make the distinct characters have their own presence, their unique personality.
The prompt this week was a sort of round-robin of serial writing. Done as a group, two prompts were offered to choose from:
The smell was familiar and touched a deep place in my heart.
It was a dark and still night. The noise outside didn’t sound like the wind.
The first person chose one and wrote that down and continued for 2 minutes, then the paper switched to the person next to them for another two minutes of writing, continuing from whatever the first person started, then on to the next and next. If you have eight people in the group, eight stories will circulate through. Allow the first person to end the story when it circles around back to them, then read each story aloud to see where each went.
This technique could be done in the following ways if you are not part of a writing group.
- Email: If you have a few writing friends, even one other person, do this with them, emailing the exchange back and forth and see where each takes the story.
- Social Media: Either part of a social media online writing group or to your followers, explain the prompt and ask everyone to add a line in series, and see where they take the story.
- Family or friends: This doesn’t have to be with writers only. Gather a group of friends or family members and set a timer for two minutes and circle the stories around.
- Alone: Write for two minutes on day one and leave the story (saving it if on the computer). Return the following day and add two minutes more, and keep going until you’ve completed this for a week or month, whatever time period you wish. Or do this once a week for a couple months, allowing time to pass between attempts.