Write about a character and music. Prompt #67

Today’s prompt is inspired from the May 2014 issue of The Writer magazine. Write about a character (real or fictional) surrounded by music. What instruments? What songs? Describe the soundtrack to the character’s story. How does music affect his or her actions, and what role does it play in the narrative? More from this issue: “Write the way people actually talk. You can use imagery and be poetic, of course, but the best lyrics sound like something people might actually say.” — Murray Horwitz, co-writer of the musical Ain’t Misbehavin’

Just Write

See your story and tell it.

Tips to writing deeply and comfortably. Stretch – either standing or sitting in a chair. Do whatever whatever stretching feels good to you. Sit easily in a comfortable chair. Take a deep breath in through your nose, exhale out through your mouth, like you are blowing out a candle. Take several deep breaths and whoosh out on the exhalations. Relax into your chair.  Smile.  Escort your inner critic out the door. Shed your ideas about what perfect writing means. Give yourself permission to write the worst stuff possible. Writing isn’t about talent, it’s about practice and going into another dimension. Creative writing is an act of discovery. Take another deep breath. Relax into your breathing. Exhale with a satisfying sigh. Rather than write for an audience, write from an instinctual level. Immerse yourself in writing. Let go of your worries and write. Just write to a satisfying inner desire to…


I am from . . . Prompt #52

Based on the poem, “Where I’m From,” by George Ella Lyon. Learn more about this woman, with the unusual name (for a woman):  George Ella Lyon. “In the summer of 1993, I decided to see what would happen if I made my own where-I’m-from lists, which I did, in a black and white speckled composition book. I edited them into a poem — not my usual way of working — but even when that was done I kept on making the lists. The process was too rich and too much fun to give up after only one poem. Realizing this, I decided to try it as an exercise with other writers, and it immediately took off. The list form is simple and familiar, and the question of where you are from reaches deep.”   George Ella Lyon Watch and listen to George read her poem. Note from Marlene:  I had the…


The Problem . . . Prompt #50

Prompt #48 was about how to “Grow Your Character.”  Prompt #49 was about setting the mood. Today’s prompt is about “The Problem.” These series of prompts are based on Sheldon Siegel‘s 2011 Writers Forum workshop. We’re working on how to write suspense, mystery, thriller. If that doesn’t interest you, you can also use these prompts to write memoir. Write a one-sentence premise.  What’s at stake? Why should the reader care? If we follow along with Prompt #49: Our heroine is about to get into a limo to meet with Monsieur Blanchard. We know her father is concerned about her. We know she wants to look professional for this meeting. That’s about all we know. Let’s play with this. What if our heroine is a contracted killer? What if she is meeting with Monsieur Blanchard to receive her next assignment?  What if she needs the money because her father is in…

Guest Bloggers

Guest Blogger Patti Trimble asks, “Who cares. . . “

Guest Blogger Patti Trimble asks, and answers, “Who cares if I write?” Sometimes I ask myself, “Who cares if I write, who basically gives a damn anyway?” Then I remember this is a real question that should be asked with a radical change of voice. Who DOES care if I write? Exactly who am I writing for? Writing is a mode of conversation: If I don’t know who I’m talking to, it hardly makes sense to speak. Once, on a beach, not in this country, I watched twenty men pull in a surf net. At least that’s what I thought they were doing. For several hours I watched them pull—knee-deep in surf, hauling in two fat ropes that disappeared into the sea. As they inched backwards up the slope, one man jumped up; then some young people ran down to help pull. The town was into it because it was…