Sunday, 14 April 2013


What writer doesn't love the library? All those lovely books... all those stories and adventures and dilemmas and other people's problems and pastel shade escapes... sigh... take me there now.

Hence today's writing warm-up for the A to Z Challenge: L for Library.

The Mitchell Library... one of the Great Loves of my life.

1. You're sitting at a desk in the library, surrounded by a big pile of books. At the table to your left is a scruffy old man, reading a newspaper. Is he homeless; seeking sanctuary from the bitter cold? To the right of you is a group of giggling girls who'd prefer to gossip than study. What's going on in their lives? Do they have fickle, theatrical dilemmas? Or are there sensitive family issues affecting them all in various degrees of severity? Spend a few minutes pondering characters, using the library as common ground.

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 found the letter in the library book I'd just checked out...
  • The couple argued in hushed tones, mindful of the library rule...
  • She didn't notice the "entry forbidden" sign as she walked through the door, looking for a way out of the library...

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. :)



Glynis said...

Library! One of the things I am looking forward to bringing back into my life, when I move back to the UK in June. *Bliss*. We don't have them in Cyprus, and I have been without for eight years!

Catherine Noble said...

Oh Glynis... it actually pained me to read that! Bring on June! :)

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