Shared via Wind Fist on Facebook.
I originally posted this writing prompt as a reply on ISBW. However, this is truly a great idea for writers. I’ve been so enamored with the process and the results it’s produced in my creativity, that I’ve switched from using 750words.com as my journaling tool to using OneNote, and I’m thinking about purchasing EverNote because of its great photo tools.
Well, here you go, enjoy. And give it a try for a month! I think you’ll find it as much a boon to the craft as I have:
For the length of a semester, keep an “image notebook.” Every day, record at least one image. (date the entries.) Use all your senses. Ask yourself: What’s the most striking thing I heard, saw, smelled, touched, tasted today? Images begin with precise sensual detail. One day you may overhear a strange bit of conversation, another you may smell something that triggers a memory.
Another day you find a photograph or take one or do a drawing. You might make a collage of words and pictures from magazines. This exercise is very open. Length is variable. Some days you may write a page and others a line. Don’t get behind.
Interesting juxtapositions emerge when you’re not conscious of how many images are colliding. If you do your week’s work all at once, you’ll lose the mystery.
Like a medical student who must learn the names and location of human bones before going on to more complex systems, a beginning writer must be able to handle and control basic plot before moving on to more subtle elements like motivation, subtext, and ambiguity. Many of the greatest novels incorporate a quest (Moby Dick), a journey (David Copperfield), and triumph over an obstacle (The Old Man and the Sea). These works also concentrate on one protagonist and end, if not happily, at least on an emotionally satisfying note of resolution.
It’s inevitable that one day people will look back on books and think of them as a primitive, ancient way of conveying knowledge and stories. It might seem far-fetched, but I’m sure the ancient bards thought stories would always be passed on word-of-mouth.
Of course, it won’t be tomorrow or even an upcoming generation that sees books fall to the wayside. However, upcoming generations will see some drastic changes with the digitization of books.
Here are a few guesses at what that future might look like–built in Cliffnotes, cross references, book clubs and favorites, and getting a text from a character in the story! Fun to ponder.
I’d say let there be light, but that line has already been taken. So let there be less darkness!
I’ve been dark for a while, buried in work and contracts and children and sleep deprivation.
But I intend to see the blog back to a state of lightness with at least a post every week. I’m also considering resumption of the insane-a-thon in the near future.