Tuesday, 23 April 2013

I want to be a tree...

“Everyone who enjoys thinks that the principal thing to the tree is the fruit, but in point of fact the principal thing to it is the seed. -- Herein lies the difference between them that create and them that enjoy.”

I based this writing warm-up around an eerie looking photo I captured in Victoria Park. I thought it might be difficult coming up with ideas, but I was so wrong! It's amazing what you can come up with once you get started.

I give you today's writing prompt for my A to Z Blogging Challenge:  T for Tree.

1. Spend a few minutes freewriting, using the word Tree as your starting point. Here’s what I came up with:

Scary black tree, gnarled and eerie in front of the derelict house. Swing from it? Hang from it… climb it/have an accident. Carve history into it. Forest fire/lightning crack. What has this tree seen in its life? Landscape changed but the tree remains. Changeable nature: rot, leaves fall, grows, bare, flourish. Home for wildlife. Sanctuary for peeping toms. Hiding place.

I can think of several story ideas to come from that lot. See how you get on with yours…

2. Sketch a mind-map using the key word as the nucleus, then branch out (ahem!) 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 faced the tree, covered her eyes and counted to a hundred…
  • He visited the picnic spot from their courting days. Their initials were still etched in the tree, encased in a heart…
  • I tied the rope, in a firm knot, around the sturdiest branch…

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. :)



Barbara White Daille said...

That photo definitely stimulates a lot of ideas. Very ominous ones.

Thanks again for the great prompts and photos.

T is for Triple Play: Two Teasers and Time's Running Out
The Daille-y News

Anonymous said...

Hi Catherine - great prompt as always. I like the idea of taking a photo and using it as a prompt. I like to take interesting pics as I go about town or whatever and it would give me an extra incentive if I thought I could get a story out of it.

Kelly's Eye - Writing, Music, Life

J.L. Campbell said...

That a scary-looking tree. I enjoy mind-mapping, but don't use that method in creating my stories often enough. It quite useful when I'm not sure which direction I want to take my story.

Anne Mackle said...

Good prompts,scary tree.

Maria said...

I love trees. Autumn trees are my favourite, but I also love to see cherry blossom on a Spring day. Gorgeous!

I often think...if some of these old trees could speak, what tales they could tell us.

Like all of your prompts today Catherine.

Maggie Winter said...

That seem a good idea and a clever way of getting inspiration, thanks.
maggie at expat brazil

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