Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Combining senses

Try combining smell, taste and touch words with sound or speech words. See what kind of attention perking images you can come up with .... a gingery drawl, a raw sigh, crisp chatter ...

SMELL TASTE TOUCH SOUND SPEECH
sweet
balmy
earthy
rotten
fishy
scented
spicy
piney
reeking
fragrant
sharp
tempting
spoiled
moldy
perfumed
fresh
pungent
sickly
oily
bittersweet
crisp
fruity
overripe
buttery
hearty
ripe
tangy
burnt
salty
mellow
bland
raw
gingery
bitter
sugary
sour
hot
peppery
cool
spongy
mushy
thick
hot
thin
fuzzy
crisp
slippery
satiny
icy
soft
rubbery
elastic
feathery
tough
silky
sandy
oily
waxy
furry
tender
woolly
wet
gritty
rough
smooth
warm
dry
prickly
furry
damp
steamy
velvety
sharp
fleshy
dull
hairy
leathery
sticky
sigh
growl
bump
smash
bark
clink
murmur
crash
thump
rasp
roar
mute
whisper
thud
boom
clash
blare
still
whir
pitter-patter
thunder
jamble
racket
hush
rustle
thwap
bang
bawl
bleat
hubbub
stutter
screech
whisper
stammer
snort
whimper
giggle
bellow
talk
laugh
chatter
speak
sing
murmur
drawl

From Rip the Page!: Adventures in Creative Writing by Karen Benke. A hundred ideas honed in workshops at schools for playing with words, with examples from kids. The exercises are nterspersed with pep talks from writers, many of them children's writers. You can tell she's a poet since her word lists are luscious :-D

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mix and Match

Get in the habit of finding, gathering and generating story ideas. Write them down in a notebook. (Or a couple of notebooks kept in places where you often get ideas. Or your smart phone.) Save them for when you need them.

Go to Mix-and-Match Game. Click on Generate Character. Make that character the best at this, the ultimate expression: the most charming, the most faithful, most mysterious, the most whatever. Set a timer for 5 minutes and crank out a story idea. (Dr. Wicked's Write or Die, in the blog's sidebar, can come in handy for this.)

Do this 2 more times.

This is one of the exercises from My Story Can Beat Up Your Story! by Jeffrey Alan Schechter. He walks you through ten steps to ramp up your ideas into compelling story telling.

Every story has a central question that, when answered definitively yes or no, signals the story is over. Each question has 3 parts, a physical part that many people care about (kill Dracula), an emotional part that characters closest to the hero care about (win the love of the most recently turned vampire wife) and a spiritual part that the hero cares about (regain his self-respect).

What three goals could your most confused wedding planner or most frantic princess want more than anything? Goals that, if not achieved, would doom him or the world to actual or virtual death?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Deviantly roving ROCKS

The mystery of Sailing Stones (and for the mystery revealed, click the picture)
For this deviant description, you can mention the rock, since moving rocks are pretty deviant themselves.

For the rest, deviantly describe the scene without using the names of the objects. Dig into what objects look and feel like rather than telling what they are.

Capture the senses' experience. What does it feel like to your whole body? Does it get inside your clothes? Does it get inside you? What does it smell like? Taste like? Sound like?

Go further and find a mood or personality of the place and let those inspire the descriptive words you choose.

Try unexpected adjectives and vivid verbs. For example, svelt, sleek, oozing, crouching aren't words normally associated with places, but can create fresh images.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

In stereo

Eric Myer stereotype shuffler
Create a list of 12 stereotypical characters each doing something stereotypical.

Cut them up, shuffle them to create new combinations of people doing unexpected things. Pick 3 of your favorites and explore their interactions.

Try mixing fantasy with mundane stereotypes. If your brain is stuck on ethnic or racial stereotypes, I've posted a list of professions and preferences that often get stereotyped in the comments. There's also a massive List of Stereotypes by country (probably once at the Uncyclopedia). (If the list disappears, it's preserved at List of Stereotypes (copy).)

(Needed a quickie since my daughter and sister are visiting. But I rather like it! Sometimes simple is best. :-)

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Two guys and a shop

These guys have opened up a shop in your small town. It quickly becomes popular with the locals

So, what's the shop? Is it popular with a broad cross section? Or to a segment of the population? Which segment? Who are they and how do they manage to be accepted despite being comfortably outside the norm?