Monday, 1 April 2013


Today marks the first day of the A to Z Blogging Challenge 2013. How can it possibly be April already? This is devastating. Slow down, time/life...

Although I haven't been blogging much of late, that's all about to change: I shall inflict upon you twenty-six blog posts over the course of April! I thoroughly enjoyed taking part last year, and will no doubt make it an annual tradition. Find out more about the challenge here.

My theme for the A to Z Challenge is: writing warm-ups.

I find if I start a writing session with a five-minute warm-up, I have a much more productive session.

There are several ways I like to do this. For each day of the challenge, I shall suggest various exercises such as photo prompts, mind maps and freewrites. I'm confident you'll find your muse lurking beneath one of them. Grab a cuppa and a notepad...

Today's warm-up is A for Abandonment.

1. Whose hat is this? How did it end up there? Simply overlooked by a harassed, unobservant mother (why is she harassed?)? Or a clue to something more sinister? Scribble down a scenario/character profile based on the poor wee hat.

2. Sketch a mind-map using the key word as the nucleus, then branch out in whatever direction you please. You might find yourself going in completely unrelated paths (which I personally prefer). Do a five-minute freewrite incorporating as many (or few) branch words as you like. Here is my mind map (created using the SimpleMind app on my phone).

3. Choose one of the following sentence starts and freewrite for a few minutes, letting the words tumble out without a second thought:
  • It was hat & scarf weather...
  • She couldn't find it anywhere...
  • The rain made it soggy...
I find it best not to read my freewrites for at least a few days. Why not stuff them in a drawer and surprise yourself? It's blatant evidence that our minds work in mysterious ways. Plus, I defy you not to find an array of story seeds amongst your work.

Do you have any writing warm-ups you'd like to share?

Take care,
Catherine x

Note: All photo prompts in the A to Z Challenge 2013 are my own. Feel free to use/copy/share to your hearts content. Help yourself. :)



Anne Mackle said...

So glad you're doing the challenge I didn't see your badge yesterday. I love your theme and after the challenge I will use all your prompts, Im looking forward to doing it. It wouldn't be your blog without charts and lists,would it Catherine? Ha,ha,!

Rosalind Adam said...

That's a great idea. I've done that when running creative writing classes but never done it myself. I shall try it if I have time in between all the A to Z stuff!!

Rosalind Adam is Writing in the Rain

mrkelly2u said...

Hi Catherine - love your theme and this is a great idea for a warm-up. I agree that free-writing is a really powerful way to kickstart the sleepy creative mind. Actually, my post for tomorrow is on a similar theme - going Bananas to beat Writer's Block! Good luck with the rest of the challenge.

Catherine Noble said...

@Anne Mackle: Haha you know me too well! Glad you like the theme and hope you get something useful from the warm-ups. I'm hoping it will prove a good resource for myself once it's all complete! :)

@Rosalind Adam: This month is going to be pretty busy for everyone doing the A to Z Challenge, eh? I'll create an "A to Z Writing Warm-up" page once it's all complete, so hopefully you can swing by and get something good from it when you're free :)

@mrkelly2u: Hi, thank you! :) Your post for tomorrow sounds fabulous, I'll be sure to pay a visit! Good luck to you for the rest of the challenge too!

Sally said...

I've never tried free writing, perhaps I'll give it a go.

Michelle said...

Great theme Catherine!
As you know, I love one-word prompts and picture prompts as well!
Will be back to check out more writing warm-ups!
(Just thinking - this would make a great weekly series... after the A to Z challenge...)

Barbara White Daille said...

Catherine - first-time A to Z participant here and looking forward to it.

Glad I found your blog. I love lists and mind maps and brainstorming. Looks to be a fun month!


Maria said...

I am a huge fan of mind mapping, so your post speaks to me! Glad to see you here, doing the challenge.

Christine Rains said...

What fun! I love this theme. That's a cute hat too. In my mind, it's already found and back on a warm head. :)

Dawn M. Hamsher said...

Catherine, Oh, abandonment would be a good writing prompt!
The Write Soil

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