Thursday, 11 April 2013


Today's topic is something I hold dear to my heart, I even made it my J topic for last year's A to Z!

My A to Z Challenge writing warm-up today is J for Journal.

1. You've moved into a new home and find a bunch of old journals up in the loft. What kind of person lived there before you? Have they any juicy secrets? How come they didn't take the journals with them... did they have to flee in a rush? Or were they bludgeoned to death?

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:
  • I know I shouldn't look, but...
  • I had to hide it from him, he couldn't know the truth about her...
  • Dear diary, today I'm going to end it all...
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. :)



Kate said...

I've always wanted to keep a journal and believe me, I've started plenty. But I've found that the only journals that I consistently write in are writing notebooks. Maybe I just need to find a balance between recording my real life and all the ones I invent...

Rosalind Adam said...

I love that first writing prompt. I suspect my loft discovery would uncover a long held secret, rather like the story that was revealed in those old letters at the beginning of The Bridges of Madison County.

Rosalind Adam is Writing in the Rain

Anne Mackle said...

I've read a few books lately where journals or letters have been found exposing long held secrets it's definitely a good start for a story.

Anonymous said...

I love this prompt, Catherine - particularly I know I shouldn't look but . . .

Although I can never maintain a journal for more than a few weeks at a time, I do keep an intermittent one on an app I have and find its really useful to vent emotion or even just record when things are going well and why. My W post will be around something similar. Have a great weekend.

Rinelle Grey said...

I kept a journal for many years when I was a teenager, but haven't since. I don't think I could help peeking if I found someone's old journal though. It would be like reading a book, only true!

Rinelle Grey

Catherine Noble said...

@Kate: I'm sure the format doesn't matter as long as you're writing consistently :) sometimes the fine line between reality and fiction can become blurred haha!

@Rosalind Adam: Oooh I haven't seen The Bridges of Madison County, I have to admit, but it sounds fantastic. I love long held secrets and old letters!

@Anne Mackle: I agree :) I absolutely loved The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4, and pretty much anything with the epistolary slant!

@mrkelly2u: Glad you liked it, Wayne :) that app sounds fabulous, I have several apps like that on my phone too (although never manage to maintain them with any sense of frequency!). Looking forward to reading your W post when it comes :)

@Rinelle Grey: I'd be sorely tempted to peek at the journal too, Rinelle :)

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