Prompts

Choose a scene . . . Prompt 607

Choose a scene and write. Scene 1 You are sitting at your kitchen table. The morning sun lights up the room. You wrap your hands around a mug of warm, steaming, fragrant [type of drink]. What are you daydreaming about? Scene 2 You are sitting on a porch, looking out at [wherever you are]. A movement catches your eye, reminding you of . . . Scene 3 You and (name of dinner partner) are enjoying dessert. You are surprised by . . . Scene 4 There you are, in the middle of [something]. What are you thinking about? #amwriting #justwrite #creativewriting

Prompts

Ekphrasis . . . Prompt #606

Ekphrasis: Art describing other art. Created by the Greeks, the goal of this literary form is to create a word-painting, so the reader can envision the item described as if it were physically present. Write whatever the image conjures up. You can see ekphrasis art at the Artists’ Co-op of Mendocino, a collaboration between writers and visual artists where writing is paired with visual arts. Writing was nspired by art as well as art that inspired writing:  2021 Ekphrasis X Exhibition. #just write #amwriting #ekphrasis

Prompts

Weave narrative, dialogue, and action . . . Prompt #605

Have you read something that feels “off?” Or been bored with the sluggish, plodding plot? Do you wonder why the novel isn’t moving along? It could be the lack of balance between narration, dialogue, and action. As a writer you want to keep your story moving and engaging. Weaving “We want to balance our scenes using three elements of fiction: dialogue, action and narrative. This is one reason you want to put your character in a scene with other characters as often as possible: Scenes that weave together these three elements engage the reader at an emotional level much more effectively than scenes that are only dialogue, only narrative or only action.” —Gloria Kempton One at a time Sometimes you want to focus on one aspect. Use dialogue, for example, to show a character’s personality and motives. “If you want to highlight a particular character trait in your viewpoint character…

Prompts

Lies, humiliation, secrets . . . Prompt #604

Memoir is similar to many elements of fiction: Careful scene setting, pacing, tension, conflict. Seduce the reader with a confiding tone. Reveal secrets. The best secrets are those that the author reveals or learns about self in the process, “Ah, did I really think that?” Readers are interested in your conflicts. It’s important to modulate good times and bad times. “The best memoirs explore and reveal conflict in a way that illuminates and startles.” —Kat Meads Consider the scope of your memoir. It’s not necessary to start from when you were born and work your way up. Don’t try to write about everything. Take one aspect. The year you were in Paris, for example. If you go with a chronological way of telling, share just the important events that shaped you. The idea is to look objectively at your life to write a richer subjective memoir. Part of writing memoir…

Prompts

Seeing the scene from character’s point of view . . . Prompt #603

“The goal of description is to create a well-designed set that provides the perfect background for your characters—a setting that stays in the background without overwhelming the scene or interrupting the story.” —Moira Allen In real life, we explore our surroundings through our actions and experience them through our senses. Create a structure for your characters to do the same. Craft your descriptions so details unfold as your character moves through the scene. Know which details your character would notice right away and which details will register more slowly. Suppose, for example, your heroine is a secretary of humble origins and has just entered the mansion of a millionaire. Let her notice how soft the rich Persian carpet feels underfoot, how it muffles her footfalls, how she is tempted to remove her shoes. Don’t mention how soft the sofa is until she sinks into it. Let her smell the leather…