Sunday, 2 June 2013

Writing - 'How to' books and writing exercises.




I have recently re-visited Stumbleupon and have looked at hundreds of sites about writing and how to write and I must admit to feeling a little concerned. Am I doing it right? I've sold more books recently and have continued to write daily blogs. I am putting time in on my latest book and continuing with a daily diary. The poetry has slowed down but not dried up and I've introduced a YouTube event. The things is if you followed everyone else's advice it would be necessary to apply for an extension to the day from twenty four to thirty six hours.
I appreciate all the advice that is flying around but the bottom line is you have to choose what feels right for you. When writing I try to produce work that is from where I am at the time and that includes attitudes as well as emotions. But a big thank you to all those who have shared their ideas. Here are some exercises that I have come across recently.

Exercises

Music
Writers feel their work, and when you can quite describe what you’re feeling on paper, it can be frustrating. Get out your ipod or computer, put on your earphones and find some songs that appeal to you and the scene or piece you’re working on. Grooveshark.com and Pandora.com are two websites that offer free, instant music streaming to get those juices flowing.


Use Writing Prompts

A writing prompt is simply a topic around which you start jotting down ideas. The prompt could be a single word, a short phrase, a complete paragraph or even a picture, with the idea being to give you something to focus upon as you write.  egs
(a) He hadn't seen her since high school.
(b) It was the first snow of the winter.

Pick ten people you know and write a one-sentence description for each of them. Focus on what makes each person unique and noteworthy.

Try to identify your earliest childhood memory. Write down everything you can remember about it. Rewrite it as a scene. You may choose to do this from your current perspective or from the perspective you had at that age.

For poetry

 PersonaActors speak as someone other than who they are all the time. Writers need to be able to do this as well. Try the following, doing so once for the purpose of satire and once for the purpose of empathizing.
  1. Write in the persona of someone of the opposite sex.
  2. Write in the persona of someone twenty years older than you.
  3. Write in the persona of someone ten years younger than you.
  4. Write in the persona of someone who is less well educated than you.
  5. Write in the persona of someone who is more educated than you.
  6. Write in the persona of someone who is blind or deaf or mute.
  7. Write in the persona of someone who holds different religious or political or social opinions than you.

Making Similes

Look through a book of poems you like, and find a few similes to use as inspiration. Go out and observe people and try and create similes about what you see. 
eg.

'He slumps like the very meaning of surrender'
'Ivy creeping like silent footsteps'

Making Metaphors

As above read and see what you can find and then using your senses observe and create.

'The empty outlet of anxiety'
'The withered doghouse of grief'
'The empty medicine of hope'


As in all of  your writing having a notebook and experimenting with ideas is essential. I can't claim to always to use a notebook but I have one!

God Bless