Friday, 5 April 2013

Eyes down

Today's writing warm-up for my A to Z Blogging Challenge is: E for Eyes Down.

1. Here are some notes I made during my last jaunt to the bingo with Mother:

Passers-by saying hello, lonesome individuals sitting at a table for four, man holds a £20 note in the air for change, flashing lights from nearby casino slots, clattering of coins, a foul-mouthed old woman talking loudly, potential fisticuffs over seats, shhhhhh-ing when the caller speaks, fidgeting with bulbous dabber pens, walking sticks littering the walkways, old, wrought wedding rings, bad wigs, room clears immediately as people scarper for cigarette break, waiting on one for the house, grumble grumble, caller's farewell: "On behalf of all of us, love you and ta-ra!" A sea of "ta-raaaa"'s with one mutter of "get it up ye..." Jackets on.
Have a look at your surroundings and describe everything you see, hear, feel, smell, etc. You might feel a story begin to form (I found a few with my bingo notes!).

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:
  • We always promised we'd split the winnings...
  • Old Betty hadn't shown face in the bingo for three weeks now...
  • It got her out of the house, at least...
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 my A to Z Challenge 2013 are my own. Feel free to use/copy/share to your hearts content. Help yourself. :)



Rebeccah Giltrow said...

This is brilliant. People sometimes think they need a lightbulb to pop out of the top of their head, or be hit with an inspiration hammer. But just noting down the things you can see is a great way of limbering up the brain and the writing muscles.

Tara Tyler said...

i am going to try that note taking exercise! love it! when you participate, you dont realize what else is going on all around you. must sit ack & observe & jot!

and your graphics are excellent too!

Matthew MacNish said...

New follower here. Nice to meet you, Catherine!

Barbara White Daille said...

The prompts are great and I love the mind maps and the photos.

Keep 'em coming!

E is for Evidence Found in A to Z
The Daille-y News

Melanie Schulz said...

My routine usually begins and ends with a pot of tea.

Anonymous said...

Another great post, Catherine. Coincidentally I am working on a short story that is Bingo themed. It was originally meant for a competition but I missed the deadline (!) so now I'm just editing for myself. The brief was only that it had to include Bingo somewhere in it - so I went for the obvious and my story centres around a little old lady that wins a psychopathic bingo calling robot and seems oblivious to the fact it wants to kill her.

Anne Mackle said...

Lots of inspiration in your posts Catherine.

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