Sunday, November 27, 2011

Write ON # 1 from Chris Mandeville

Write ON #1
Five Tips, Quotes and Exercises
Provided by Give! 2011 Collaborating Nonprofits

If you're having a little trouble getting started writing, here are some exercises, an inspiring quote, and a tip from a Master to help get the creative juices flowing:

1. "You can't stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes." Winnie the Pooh

Push yourself outside your comfort zone and see what's out there!


2. Give your character a dream. It can be a literal dream while sleeping (a fantastical tale? a nightmare?), a daydream, or a life goal. Whatever type of dream you decide on, remember to dream BIG. Write that scene and see what it reveals about your character.


3. "Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them -- in order that the reader may see what they are made of." Kurt Vonnegut

Think of the worst possible thing that could happen to your main character, then make it even more awful.


4. What is one of your favorite stories? Why did THAT story pop into your mind? Think about what in that story resonates with you and what makes it stand out from all the other stories you've read. Try to use this information to make your plot, character, setting or idea more emotionally gripping.


5. Look around the room. Pick a stranger and tell their story. Look at how they are dressed, their posture, their attitude, and invent a scenario. What does it look like they are doing here? What are they REALLY doing here? What do they want and what's at stake for them? Then think about the elements of this "story" or "character" that make it compelling, provoke a strong emotional response, or create curiosity about what happens next. Use this as a jumping-off point for your own work-in-progress.


For more information about these nonprofit organizations and their collaboration in Give! 2011, please visit

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