“Play with Words to Improve Your Mind” by Joan Y. Edwards
After listening to John Claude Bemis at the SCBWI conference, I ordered a book that has exercises similar to the ones he mentioned at the conference. It is called Writing Open the Mind by Andy Couturier http://www.amazon.com/Writing-Open-Mind-Tapping-Subconscious/dp/B004JZWVOU/
In this book, Couturier has many exercises to experiment using different words, settings, plots, and all parts that go into writing in general. It was fun for me to use words from unusual, random places. It gave me many new words and ideas for my project during National Novel Writing Month. Perhaps it’ll help you with your writing, too.
I changed one of his activities a bit. Here are suggestions:
ten of your favorite settings, places you’d like to be; ten settings where you’d most hate being.
ten names you like; ten names you hate.
ten towns you like. ten towns you’d hate to be from (perhaps your antagonist can be from there)
ten tragic things that could happen to the main character in your work in progress; ten ways your character can make them worse.
ten jobs you’d love to have; ten jobs you’d hate to have
ten most proud things that could happen to you or to your main character; ten most embarrassing things that could happen to you or to your main character
ten of your favorite foods; ten of your most hated foods
ten of your favorite sayings; ten of your most hated sayings
Choose words for these lists while browsing the newspapers, magazines, books that you are currently reading, websites, dictionaries, maps, television, movies, etc. You can even use words you hear your family and friends say. Write down words that pop out at you, that you magnetize you. I even used a crossword puzzle book. I wrote down all the words that called out to me.
I put my words at the bottom of the manuscript I was writing in the computer at the time. I did free writing or writing that came to mind that was in tune with the story. When I used the word, I deleted it from the list. You could write them on a piece of paper next to the computer and cross them off when you use them, too. Choose a way that suits you.
Set the timer and write 3 minutes using one of the words. Spend the next three minutes disagreeing with everything you wrote the first three minutes. That’ll add tension to your story. You can save this as a draft and use what you want and discard the other or save it for another time and another story.
Here are online timers that may work for you: http://www.timer-tab.com/, and http://timer.onlineclock.net/
Every month is a great month for giving. It is in giving that we receive the most wonderful things in return, thankfulness, love, and appreciation. This month I’d like for you to honor yourself and submit one of your quality manuscripts to a publisher, agent, or contest. If it hasn’t been critiqued, let your critique group read it and give you their opinions, then follow the directions for
You Have the Essentials for Submitting: Go for it.
Step 1 Get work critiqued, revised, printed, and proofed.
Step 2 Choose the publisher, editor, agent, or contest for this writing project.
Step 3 Write the pitch, query letter, cover letter, resume, bio, and/or proposal as required by the guidelines of the editor, agent, or contest you chose for submission this time.
Step 4 Proof and Send your pitch, query letter, cover letter, resume, bio, and/or proposal as required by the guidelines of the editor, agent, or contest you chose for submission this time.
Believe in Yourself
Submit Your Manuscript This Month
Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2011 Joan Y. Edwards
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