Today I want to share with you an exercise to find out what you might want to write about:
1. Draw a big circle. In the middle write WHAT FASCINATES ME?
2. From the circle draw lines with all possible answers of what fascinates you. Are you curious about the monarch butterfly? Are you fascinated by the names of winds or hurricanes? Do you want to learn more about the seven wonders of the world? Write down all your interests.
3. When you're done with that, choose one of those and freewrite for a while. Every day spend a few minutes writing about it and then put it away. After a week or two, read what you have and begin to draft a piece.
4. Draw another big circle and write WHAT'S THE POINT OF TELLING THE STORY? in the middle. Again, draw lines out of the circle and write the possibilities to that question.
5. List characters that might be used with that story.
6. Draw a third big circle and write WHICH POINT OF VIEW?
7. Draw lines out of the circle and plot the characters you have listed.
8. Choose one character and answer the following questions:
- upper class, lower class?
- hot button topic?
- what's the thesis?
- what's the weather?
- what's the opening sentence?
- what's the conclusion?
9. Once you've done a good amount of writing with those questions, start to read and revise and edit.
10. If you get stuck, go back to the circles and try other possibilities.
THE SOURCE OF STORIES: Writing from your experience and imagination
The Newberry Library, 60 West Walton, Chicago
Saturdays, 10-12 noon, starting September 20
To register go to www.newberry.org