Thursday, 18 April 2013

Park yer bum...



Hello to all the lovely people visiting the blog! If this is your first visit, I'm currently taking part in the A to Z Blogging Challenge. My theme 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: P for Park.



1. Ponder these scenarios and follow on from whichever takes your fancy:

  • You're spending a few leisurely hours in the park, making the most of the nice weather. You have a rest on the bench and are horrified to recognise the name on the memorial plaque. Who's is it? Is it... yours?
  • A family day out is being spoiled by a group of youths drinking cider and throwing stones at the swans. Your children are scared and your partner is worried and wants to go home. You're absolutely raging at the youths: not only are they injuring the defenceless animals, they've spoiled your quality time with the family. You approach them, fists clenched...

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:

  • He said he'd meet me in the park at midnight...
  • She'd have to take a shortcut through the park...
  • I threw the stick for my dog, but he brought something entirely different back...

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. Use and abuse to your hearts content, I'm not precious about them. Help yourself. :)



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4 comments:

mrkelly2u said...

Another great prompt, Catherine. I particularly like the line about the dog bringing something entirely different back - that has already got my mind whirring!

S. L. Hennessy said...

I like to free-associate write as a warm-up sometimes. It helps me get in the right place.

Happy A to Z blogging.
pensuasion.blogspot.com

Anne Mackle said...

Great prompts,what did the dog bring back? A severed hand maybe?

Rosalind Adam said...

Parks are a great story starter. I have a picture book ms about a park which I love to pieces but it's been rejected by just about every publisher in the UK!

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