Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Birthday wishes

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: B for Birthday.

1. Do you believe in birthday wishes? What would you wish for? Do you celebrate birthdays or is it a sore subject? Imagine a birthday party scene (small & intimate or excessive & lavish) and write it down, filling it with devious and eccentric characters.

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:

  • She didn't tell them it was her birthday...
  • He thought back to how different things were on his last birthday...
  • Another year older...

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...

I never do anything like this but I should really try some.

Barbara White Daille said...

Great idea to write the warm-ups and put them aside for a while. Will have to try that.

A to Z at my website/blog

Damyanti said...

My writing warm-ups are always free-writes.

Damyanti @Daily(w)rite
Co-host, A to Z Challenge 2013

Twitter: @AprilA2Z

Amanda Saint said...

Great tips, Catherine. If I'm trying to get to know a character better then I do 'What if? exercises and write how they react in different situations in their voice even if they are not my narrator. Then I use what I've learnt in that process to go back to my MS and write the scene they are in. Sometimes work well, others not - pretty much like all writing processes I've found! A x

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