Friday, October 19, 2007

More on sparking your creativity...

Susan’s post on Monday got me thinking about a writing program I did back in middle school that certainly sparked creativity. It was called Power of the Pen. Several students were selected each year, and for weeks we prepared for a day-long writing competition where we were given prompts on any topic and a set amount of time to write. We did several sessions of this throughout the day. Judges would look for the best and most creative works and score us accordingly. I was quite proud to get seventh place one year out of hundreds of students from all over our district.

I know many of you are in critique groups, and I’m curious if you ever do this type of exercise when you get together with your writing buddies. If you do, tell us how it works in your group. If not, why not give it a try? You could have a lot of fun with this, making it a contest with crazy categories and prizes, etc. Make up your own writing prompts or find them from a place like Writer’s Digest. Here’s one of theirs that I thought sounded especially interesting:

Grocery Grapple

It's your first time back to the grocery since the manager, in a not-so-kind manner, told you never to bring your kids into his store again. You're secretly relieved to have to leave them home with your spouse. Thirty minutes later, you return home—without groceries. Egg yolk is dripping from your hair, chocolate syrup is smeared across your shirt, and smashed produce is sticking to your shoes. What happened?

What a fun story that prompt could inspire! :)

Happy weekend and happy writing!


Annie said...

How is it that we've never talked about Power of the Pen at work? I did that in Junior High, too! Wouldn't that be weird if we competed against each other?!

Mary Connealy said...

I remember writing a story when I was very young for some school project. Something like "Why Dragons Are Extinct"
I remember something first they didn't have wings and with their huge bodies and short stubby legs they had to drag on and on, which is why they were called dragons.
Okay! I was young!

I also wrote a radio drama in a college class about a serial killer.

I like writing exercises like this but they take a lot of energy and I like to focus creative writing energy on the book in progress.

But the lady covered with food. My first reaction was to BLAME SOMEONE ELSE'S KID. :)
And she vows to take her children to the store every time because they can work egg artillary for her against the other kids while she shops.

Lacy J. Williams said...

I post a Writing Workout exercise each Wednesday on the Writer... Interrupted blog.

These are writing prompts but they are designed to get writers thinking about their current scene/chapter and then get inspired to write.

Darlene Franklin said...

I belonged to a critique group that picked up on an unusual or thought provoking phrase that came up in our meeting. We would write a story/poem/essay based on that phrase for the next critique group. I remember "You know you're an old fogie when ..." and "the black hole" with great fondness.

However, when it comes to writing creatively within 5 minutes--I'm a disaster. I hear others' brilliant prose and wonder why I think I can be a writer when I grow up.