Monday, September 20, 2010

Assignment #5

Well well looks like someone hasn't been taking her own advice and writing every day. Let alone posting prompts every day....

Hopefully that gave you time to catch up on prompts and explore your own writing tendencies a bit. I'm hoping I will be able to give more consistent - if not daily - posts from here on out.

Your next assignment, to get your imagination jump-started again, is to create a character. You can do this in a number of ways - write a list, write a paragraph, draw a graphic organizer like a web or diagram. Some people see a name first and branch out from there - others see a face, or a job, or a catchline. An old professor of mine, who has published several well-liked children's books, once woke up with a character practically shoving her way out of his subconscious with the line, in a craggly and determined voice, "That'll do."

When writing a profile of your character (or list, chart, paragraph, etc.) be sure to include the following:

  • physical description (hair, face, height, clothes)
  • background (think about their childhood, where they came from)
  • action (what do they do for work, for fun)
  • context (where do they currently live, and among whom)
  • personality traits (common emotions, pet peeves, temperament)
  • quirks (we all have them. give your character one or two!)
Have fun!

Prompt #36

Consider this quote and respond, free-writing for seven minutes.

"Live your life as an exclamation, not an explanation."

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Prompt #35

How do you know when something is true?

There are two directions you could take with this prompt: you can examine your philosophical reaction to the question (what makes a thing "true" and what is "truth?") or you can examine your researcher self's values. How many people have to make the same statement before it is true? Or does it matter how many people say it? Who can say a thing that you will take as truth? What kind of person is trustworthy? Do you have to see it for yourself to believe it? Is Wikipedia worth believing? How many research articles make a thing true?

Prompt #34

What does it mean to be a grownup?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Prompt #33

Jane Goodall was famous for working with chimpanzees, but specifically for documenting their use of twigs to pick up bugs and eat them, officially making chimps the only other animal, at the time, known to use tools.

As tempting as it is to make everything with your bare hands, what tools do you use on a daily basis, and what do they do for you? You may simply respond, or describe your use of tools, the most important tool, "tool" as a metaphor, or anything else your writerly mind dreams up.