Tuesday, 30 April 2013


Zoo: An excellent place to study the habits of human beings.
Evan Esar

I can't believe it's the last day of the A to Z Blogging Challenge! I'm bereft... it's going to be weird not doing my creative writing warm-ups on such a regular basis. Talented writer Michelle (Writer In Transit) suggested I make it a weekly post, which I think I'll do. Do you think it might be a good resource for you writers out there?

A lot of you commented that you'll come back and have a proper gander at the writing warm-ups once the challenge is over and the dust has settled. I shall work on compiling them all into a handy PDF, in the next week or so, for you to use at your leisure. :)

And so I give you my last post of this year's A to Z Challenge:

Z for Zoo.

1. Plenty of dilemmas can arise at the zoo: the elephant decides to knock me clean out with his trunk, for instance. Or a child goes missing in the crowd. A group of idiots torment the wee penguins during their parade and get a taste of their own medicine. A gorilla watches everyone, with a knowing look: what's going through his mind? You're on a first date with someone who thought it'd be a wonderfully quirky idea to go to the zoo. What happens next?

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 suggested we go somewhere neutral, like the zoo. There'd be lots of people there...
  • The child dropped her ice cream and wailed. Her mother stared at the lion in its cage and wondered which one of them was really trapped...
  • The elephant curled its trunk round my arm and yanked me off my feet...
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. :)  




Congratulations in completing the A to Z Challenge.


Barbara White Daille said...

Catherine - very nice wrap up for your A to Z.

The pdf of the posts would be awesome! And I say a big yes for the weekly warm-ups.

As for the Zoo post, the sentence prompts really send my imagination flying, especially #1 and 2.

Thanks a bunch for such a motivating A to Z, and congrats on getting to The End.

Z is for Zzz-z-z... and an SOS
The Daille-y News

michelle said...

Thanks for the mention, Catherine!
Congrats on finishing the A to Z!
An idea: you should do a survey, and find out readers thoughts on the type of series... whether it should be weekly, every alternate week, or monthly, etc. and then take it from there...

Elliot Grace said...

Hi Catherine, congrats on completing the challenge! One warm up I use...odd, but it works, is mowing my back yard. Something about listening to the white noise of the engine, causing my thoughts to wander, ideas to develop...works every time ;)

I tagged you for an award over at my "scratch pad." Stop by and check it out ;)


Tara Tyler said...

i enjoyed your posts, this method makes you think & helps find twist possibilities! i hope you do make it a regular thing!

congrats on finishing a to z!

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