My Mission Statement

I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Chautauquan Writing Exercise

This is a writing exercise from the Mining Memories session with Rich Wallace. He had written the prompt on a poster, and I didn't have time to write the prompts down, I was so busy 'mining my memories'. BTW, the scene I wrote turns out to be the missing link scene for my new novel. Go figure! So here it is, in Rich Wallace's words HIMSELF per his e-mail this week. Full credit for this activity should go to Rich Wallace, and I HIGHLY recommend you do it. I've completed it several times since the workshop.

p.s. I don't CARE if you're a writer or NOT. Do this exercise. It's good for you.

And I quote:

Recall a life-changing moment from your childhood or teen years. It can be monumental or some small epiphany, but it should have changed your perpective in a very real way.

The first step is to make a list of the following:

1. Who was involved
2. Where it took place
3. What was at stake? What did you want?
4. What did you learn?
5. Sensory details
6. Snippets of conversation

The second step is to write a scene--either beginning with that moment or leading up to it--that draws all of its emotional heat from the moment. Stay tightly focused on that single incident.

Let me also recommend WITH ENTHUSIASM Rich Wallace's books LOSING IS NOT AN OPTION (a collection of vignettes that he put together using this exact exercise) and the novel WRESTLING STURBRIDGE which my husband could not put down. Both are great examples of mining your memories into a novel or short story.

Write On!

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