I believe writing exercises are a vital part of the writing process. We don’t all have to do all the exercises all the time, but practicing even basic creative writing skills is essential to keeping our writing fresh and interesting, not only for ourselves but also for our readers. I also believe it’s important to demonstrate the skills and values I feel are important to writing. I practice writing all the time, sometimes through formal exercises but often just through the act of writing. This blog is a means of practicing writing. Still, I find value in formal exercises and I think it’s easiest to demonstrate regular practice through a controlled, formal exercise. So, in addition to all the other writing I do day in and day out, every week I’ll practice writing through a formal creative exercise, and each Friday I’ll post the exercise and the results in my blog.
For the list of exercises and blog entries, look for the “Writer’s Notebook” category.
Want to suggest an exercise I should try? Send me an e-mail, or post a comment on this page.
6 thoughts on “Writer’s Notebook”
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Play with a tarot deck and write a story based on a spread or card that you pulled. The story can be from the point of view of the reader of the cards, the person the cards are talking too, or use the spread as the plot line, or character details/development for the fictional story. Also you could try writing an imagery poem based on what you see in the card, color, picture, story, elements, or overall tone of the card.
Evelyn, I’m so glad you mentioned this! Several years ago, I wrote a graduate paper on how to use the I Ching to craft a story (as Philip K. Dick did with — and described in — The Man in the High Castle), and at the time I thought about trying something similar with tarot. The Major Arcana is already a narrative in its own right, so using it or even the full deck to craft fiction (or poetry!) wouldn’t be too great a stretch. But, as anyone might expect, grad school got in the way, and I never got round to it, even in the years after I finished my degree. I’m so happy you’ve reminded me of that idea, and, better still, given me a concrete exercise to try!
I have an exercise slated for this week’s Notebook, but I’ll definitely break out my old tarot deck and give your exercise a whirl next week. Thanks for the help! 🙂
Samuel, I’m exploring your blog, and enjoying the wealth of information here. I also just read your bio, and am so pleased and honored that you are following my blog, thank you! I only have poetry on my blog, but am working on a couple of novels, so the information you so generously provide will be very helpful. Thank you again. ~ Julie
Wow! Thanks for stopping in! And I’m thrilled that anything I might put here is proving helpful. Good luck on the novels — they’re intimidating, exhausting, exhilarating, glorious creatures, novels — and I’m looking forward to catching up on your poetry. 🙂