29 December 2007

Jump-starting Creativity

So I spent my Border's gift card and then some. Got three books that I'm really excited about: The 3 A.M. Epiphany by Brian Kiteley, Between the Lines: master the subtle elements of fiction writing by Jessica Page Morrell, and Your First Novel by Ann Rittenberg and Laura Whitcomb.

I've been thumbing through the first of these and am about to try my hand at a few exercises. The whole book is a compilation of writing exercises designed to spur creativity, produce new ideas, aid revision and growth, all the things I've been looking to do with my writing. The exercises cover everything from dialogue to imagery to characters. Here's one exercise from the subject of conversation. I just might try this one myself. It's called Body English:

Write a "conversation" in which no words are said. It might be best to have a stranger observe this conversation, rather than showing us the thoughts of one of the people involved in the conversation, because the temptation to tell us what the conversation is about is so great from inside the conversation. 600 words.

This exercise is meant to challenge you to work with gesture, body language[...], all the things we convey to each other without words. We often learn more about characters in stories from the things characters do with their hands than from what they say.

from The 3 A.M. Epiphany by Brian Kiteley

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