Tuesday, January 18, 2011

An Ingenious Little Prompt

So...lists. Tired of lists, yet? Hold on, don't get tired yet, because I just had a wonderful idea!

For those of you who have compiled a list of life goals recently, try writing a paragraph or two in which a fictional character is doing one of the things on that list. Go down the list until you've created a description of each one. Take several hours to do it, or several days, or weeks. It'll give you the chance to get into the mind of your character, while visualizing the accomplishments you yourself would like to achieve.

I thought of this because I recently read a kinda-sorta-not-really similiar prompt in Louise Doughty's book, A Novel in a Year.  In this prompt, Doughty asks her readers to write a paragraph or two of fiction in which the main character breaks his/her thumb. She adds that writing such an incident can help you discover things about your character you might not have known. I just got the crazy idea that writing a little something about each of your list items from the point of view of a fictional character might generate similar discoveries.

What think you all?


  1. I think this is a good exercise. I'm pretty terrible at fiction and stuff like this would probably help.

  2. I think I'm doing this exercise for more selfish reasons than creative. I like the idea of writing little ditties about the stuff I want to do in my life, because it helps me visualize it for myself! Plus, if you're wanting to try writing more fiction, it might be a good exercise because it starts on familiar ground--your own goals!



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