Spent yesterday afternoon at one of my favorite cafes doing some freewriting. The first assignment for my new writing class was to do a daily freewrite taking down notes about different settings/places. So yesterday, I chose the cafe’s enclosed front porch to do some writing. Today I sat down & worked those pages of notes into a 120-word description of the place. Yes, a 120-word limit for the assignment. Plus, it had to be completely about the place, no character description or character involvement. At first I struggled to find an in, but then decided to just try writing without worrying about the assignment. That turned into a 1000-word short story sketch. It feels like something I can continue to work with, which is good. The final project for the class is a short story. Since I’ve been focusing on the novel-in-progress, I haven’t had a lot of time or mind-space to work on shorter pieces. So, I’m looking forward to this class forcing me to make the time.

After working on the story sketch, I did finally get around to working on that 120-word setting description. I currently have a decent 115-words. Assignment is due tomorrow evening, so I want to play with it again tonight & tomorrow morning before turning it in.

I like these types of exercises. It really gets me to zero in on mechanics & techniques that are crucial for the novel-in-progress.

Came across this exercise here while doing some blog reading this evening. Apparently, the exercise originated here. The idea is to come up with 5 reasons why you love writing & 5 reasons why you think your WIP rocks. So, here are my thoughts.

5 Reasons I Love Writing:

  1. My overactive imagination is put to good use.
  2. I can’t draw, paint, or play the piano all that well. This is my art form; my way of expressing myself.
  3. There is a beginning, a middle, and an end that I am in complete control of.
  4. When an idea works, it has a life of its own; but still, I’m somehow responsible.
  5. It’s my escape from the mundane.

5 Reasons I Think My WIP Rocks:

  1. It’s an interesting take on the idea of the absentee parent.
  2. The tangled web of unlikely relationships.
  3. My main character’s psychology.
  4. Symbols & themes emerge without me planning them.
  5. I can actually see it in my head & I think it all works well.

Image: YanivG via flickr