Friday, July 31, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise July 31, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Five Random Constraints.

About today's writing prompt genre: This is an exercise to make your brain work within a confined space. There will be a few constraints pressed upon your writing, some meant to help drive narrative, some meant to slow the process of the ever-flowing feed of words that stream through the mind. To make you meditate on specific word choice not necessarily at the most important plot places, but irregularly so that even connections can dictate concern and consideration at the word-level.


Today's constraints are...

1) You must use a word that has at least three e's in the title.
2) You must describe music at some point.
3) You must not use the words "reply" or "said".
4) You must include the name of three food items somewhere in your piece.
5) You must include four sentences that use exactly four words.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise July 30, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Title Mania!

About today's writing prompt genre: Instead of just using a random generator, for today's exercise I will offer up six titles. Pick the title that appeals the most to you and run with it. If you want to leave your choice up to chance use this random number generator. I will also have a small list of possible last words or phrases that you can use as an end-goal if you feel like you need a little extra direction/constraint for the piece.

Titles:

(today's titles are from the movie Sharknado, but your piece need not in any way be influenced by that, unless you really really wanna write a sharknado piece, I guess. But you certainly don't have to)

1) That's Why I Really Hate Sharks
2) There are sharks in the streets
3) I'm not a stripper
4) I'll be the bombadier
5) A steep price for such a small catch
6) Zombies even

Words or phrases to end with:

1) Exactly
2) Into smaller and smaller pieces
3) An orange-red
4) In the trees
5) With aplomb
6) Outside

Again, if you want to leave this to chance, use the random number generator.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise July 29, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Narrative thread.

About today's writing prompt genre: Take the following story aspect and work it into a piece, whether poetry or prose, whether you explore what led up to this place in the story, it begins with the thread, or the thread is merely a tiny aspect of the story that has crystallized around the original image. However you choose to write it, use the following as a jumping off point.
Who're you callin a STUPID pigeon?


Today's thread is...



"Six months of planning down the drain because of a stupid pigeon."



How is this the case? What was being planned, a heist, a space shuttle launch, a long voyage in the 1600s? Why was it ruined by the pigeon? Was it something that the pigeon represented like land, or that there is still life on the planet? Did a pigeon draw attention to something that was meant to be hidden? There are plenty of options with this one, pick one angle and run with it.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise July 28, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Title Mania!

About today's writing prompt genre: Instead of just using a random generator, for today's exercise I will offer up six titles. Pick the title that appeals the most to you and run with it. If you want to leave your choice up to chance use this random number generator. I will also have a small list of possible last words or phrases that you can use as an end-goal if you feel like you need a little extra direction/constraint for the piece.

Titles:


1) Someday in São Paulo
2) Breakfast in Beirut
3) Caught in Toronto
4) One Day in Torino
5) On the Grass Outside of Nice
6) Like Seoul Late on a Sunday

Words or phrases to end with:

1) Lights
2) Without a hiccup
3) Into the darkness
4) Toppled
5) Popular
6) More

Again, if you want to leave this to chance, use the random number generator.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise July 24, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Three Things.

About today's writing prompt genre: Today you will write a piece of short fiction or a poem sparked by three concrete, actual things which I will supply. You must work the three items into your piece in some way. If you're having trouble finding direction, you can use the famous person listed under bonus as well. Think of that as getting bonus points.


Today's items are...


Tornado, a piece of Trident and an octopus.


Use the items however you like, just be sure they all make it into the story/poem. Having the items be somewhat vital to the piece is also pretty important, but hey, if this is the spark you need to finally get out a piece you'd been knocking about your brain for a month, who cares about the rules! Just write it!

Bonus thing: Michael Jordan

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise July 21, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: The How-To.

Today we'll work with the good old 'how-to' genre. Write a 'list poem' (or a regular poem) or a piece of prose that explains various ways or steps in how-to do something.



Today's how-to is...


How to investigate a bump in the night.


Ah yes, that proverbial "what was that?" moment which has wrenched us all from sleep at one point or another. Even if you live in a studio apartment with no pets, at least once you've probably heard a crash in the kitchen which snapped you from your dreams and debated investigating the noise. Maybe you just imagined it, maybe it was part of your dream, maybe it was a robber, a murderer. Do you grab your bedside revolver, a gold club, baseball bat, make a gun out of your index finger and thumb? There are plenty of opportunities for comedy here as well as a chance for an action-packed narrative.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise July 20, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Three Things.

About today's writing prompt genre: Today you will write a piece of short fiction or a poem sparked by three concrete, actual things which I will supply. You must work the three items into your piece in some way. If you're having trouble finding direction, you can use the famous person listed under bonus as well. Think of that as getting bonus points.


Today's items are...


An Eggplant, a piece of driftwood and a canoe.




Use the items however you like, just be sure they all make it into the story/poem. Having the items be somewhat vital to the piece is also pretty important, but hey, if this is the spark you need to finally get out a piece you'd been knocking about your brain for a month, who cares about the rules! Just write it!


Bonus thing: David Duchovny

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise July 19, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Five Random Constraints.

About today's writing prompt genre: This is an exercise to make your brain work within a confined space. There will be a few constraints pressed upon your writing, some meant to help drive narrative, some meant to slow the process of the ever-flowing feed of words that stream through the mind. To make you meditate on specific word choice not necessarily at the most important plot places, but irregularly so that even connections can dictate concern and consideration at the word-level.


Today's constraints are...

1) You must use three emdashes (to get an emdash— hold alt and on the numberpad type 0151).
2) You must describe a sunset and not use the words "beautiful" "melting" "red" "orange" "gorgeous" "setting" "dipping" or "horizon".
3) You must use the word "screwdriver" in the last sentence.
4) You must include four different smells.
5) You must include two sentences that are exactly 12 words long.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise July 18, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Title Mania!

About today's writing prompt genre: Instead of just using a random generator, for today's exercise I will offer up six titles. Pick the title that appeals the most to you and run with it. If you want to leave your choice up to chance use this random number generator. I will also have a small list of possible last words or phrases that you can use as an end-goal if you feel like you need a little extra direction/constraint for the piece.

Titles:


1) An Elegant Decline into Madness
2) An Appeal to Elegance
3) Elegant Under Fire
4) Elegance in Santa Fe
5) Without Elegance
6) What We Mean When We Say Elegant Decay

Words or phrases to end with:

1) Reading
2) Sliced in two
3) Erupting
4) With a small plunk.
5) Kleptomaniac
6) Turnip

Again, if you want to leave this to chance, use the random number generator.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise July 16, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Narrative thread.

About today's writing prompt genre: Take the following story aspect and work it into a piece, whether poetry or prose, whether you explore what led up to this place in the story, it begins with the thread, or the thread is merely a tiny aspect of the story that has crystallized around the original image. However you choose to write it, use the following as a jumping off point.


Today's thread is...



Caught in a robbery, your mind keeps jumping to one specific memory.



Whether this memory is related to the robbery, or more a reflection of where the narrator's mind goes in that tense situation is completely up to you. Maybe the narrator remembers prom night, or watching a martial arts movie which amps them up for a heroic action. Maybe the memory is of watching their older sister blowing soap bubbles in the backyard, and for some reason unknown to the character, they can't shake it. The brain is a crazy place. Have fun with yours.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise July 15, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: The How-To.

Today we'll work with the good old 'how-to' genre. Write a 'list poem' (or a regular poem) or a piece of prose that explains various ways or steps in how-to do something.



Today's how-to is...


How to create life.


This could be a poem filled with double entendres, it could be a romantic poem, it could be an ode to God or whatever you choose to imbue with the title Creator. It could be about planting one of those little potted flowers you would get from school to give your mom on mother's day. It could be about an old man planting a tree that he'll never sit in the shade of. Many, many options there.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise July 14, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Title Mania!

About today's writing prompt genre: Instead of just using a random generator, for today's exercise I will offer up six titles. Pick the title that appeals the most to you and run with it. If you want to leave your choice up to chance use this random number generator. I will also have a small list of possible last words or phrases that you can use as an end-goal if you feel like you need a little extra direction/constraint for the piece.

Titles:

1) Negligent Gifting
2) Asunder Again
3) Humid
4) Polished Off
5) Requested
6) A New York Nightmare

Words or phrases to end with:

1) Quilted
2) Held tight
3) Easter egg
4) Not quite there
5) Foul
6) Still

Again, if you want to leave this to chance, use the random number generator.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise July 13, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Three Things.

About today's writing prompt genre: Today you will write a piece of short fiction or a poem sparked by three concrete, actual things which I will supply. You must work the three items into your piece in some way. If you're having trouble finding direction, you can use the famous person listed under bonus as well. Think of that as getting bonus points.


Today's items are...


An Elephant, a toenail clipping and an avocado pit.


Use the items however you like, just be sure they all make it into the story/poem. Having the items be somewhat vital to the piece is also pretty important, but hey, if this is the spark you need to finally get out a piece you'd been knocking about your brain for a month, who cares about the rules! Just write it!

Bonus thing: A Rock Tumbler

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise July 12, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Narrative thread.

About today's writing prompt genre: Take the following story aspect and work it into a piece, whether poetry or prose, whether you explore what led up to this place in the story, it begins with the thread, or the thread is merely a tiny aspect of the story that has crystallized around the original image. However you choose to write it, use the following as a jumping off point.


Today's thread is...



And then there was the episode we'll file under brushes with mortality.



This could be a nonfiction response, write a vignette or story or even a first-person poem that recalls a near-death or brush with death experience. You can latch onto the specific-wording there, "file" and "episode" can both inform the stylistics of the piece. This could be a cathartic exercise, or you could plumb your imagination of neurotic worries and make the reader fear something new with your visceral descriptions.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise July 11, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Title Mania!

About today's writing prompt genre: Instead of just using a random generator, for today's exercise I will offer up six titles. Pick the title that appeals the most to you and run with it. If you want to leave your choice up to chance use this random number generator. I will also have a small list of possible last words or phrases that you can use as an end-goal if you feel like you need a little extra direction/constraint for the piece.

Titles:

1) Elevation Aside
2) A Tom Jones Cacophony
3) Thermal Underwear
4) Buffeted by Happenstance
5) Hairpin Turn, 3 a.m.
6) Weathervane Salesman

Words or phrases to end with:

1) Wind
2) Purpose
3) Into nothingness
4) On top of the spaghetti
5) Pulp
6) Wounded

Again, if you want to leave this to chance, use the random number generator.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise July 10, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: The How-To.

Today we'll work with the good old 'how-to' genre. Write a 'list poem' (or a regular poem) or a piece of prose that explains various ways or steps in how-to do something.



Today's how-to is...


How to unwrite a letter.


As humans living along this one-way stream of time, we often wish we had a second chance at things. We wish for a do-over, a mulligan, because with our hindsight, we see all the things that were wrong with our first (and realistically our only attempt at that moment). For this exercise, imagine yourself the author of a letter that was written either in anger or in unfortunate enthusiasm, or in the sway of some powerful, but in hindsight misplaced emotion, and you must undo the letter somehow. Perhaps you obsess about it to the point where you learn to time travel, or you watch time unwind and it stops just as you are about to start the letter, or are about to seal it. Perhaps you're just sending a second letter to undo the damage of the first, or however you choose to interpret the 'unwrite a letter' for this purpose, is just fine and dandy.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise July 9, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Three Things.

About today's writing prompt genre: Today you will write a piece of short fiction or a poem sparked by three concrete, actual things which I will supply. You must work the three items into your piece in some way. If you're having trouble finding direction, you can use the famous person listed under bonus as well. Think of that as getting bonus points.


Today's items are...


An Apple, a hammer and a snail.


Use the items however you like, just be sure they all make it into the story/poem. Having the items be somewhat vital to the piece is also pretty important, but hey, if this is the spark you need to finally get out a piece you'd been knocking about your brain for a month, who cares about the rules! Just write it!

Bonus thing: LeVar Burton

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise July 8, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Narrative thread.

About today's writing prompt genre: Take the following story aspect and work it into a piece, whether poetry or prose, whether you explore what led up to this place in the story, it begins with the thread, or the thread is merely a tiny aspect of the story that has crystallized around the original image. However you choose to write it, use the following as a jumping off point.


Today's thread is...


A friend tells you they won the lottery and you need to drop everything and take a trip to wherever you want, no strings attached. Of course there's a catch, but not until you're in way deeper than you realized.


This one is pretty prescriptive, it could certainly be a poem, it could begin at the end and be told through flashbacks, it could be exceedingly dark, or it could be an outlet for a sci-fi story.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise July 7, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Title Mania!

About today's writing prompt genre: Instead of just using a random generator, for today's exercise I will offer up six titles. Pick the title that appeals the most to you and run with it. If you want to leave your choice up to chance use this random number generator. I will also have a small list of possible last words or phrases that you can use as an end-goal if you feel like you need a little extra direction/constraint for the piece.

Titles:

1) Turpentine Cocktail
2) We Have All Been There Once or Twice
3) A Compendium of Ash
4) Perfect Flytrap
5) Poly-rhythmic
6) Sleeping Drummer Boy

Words or phrases to end with:

1) Turned
2) News
3) West
4) With gusto
5) Into the finest particles
6) Nascent

Again, if you want to leave this to chance, use the random number generator.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise July 6, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Five Random Constraints.

About today's writing prompt genre: This is an exercise to make your brain work within a confined space. There will be a few constraints pressed upon your writing, some meant to help drive narrative, some meant to slow the process of the ever-flowing feed of words that stream through the mind. To make you meditate on specific word choice not necessarily at the most important plot places, but irregularly so that even connections can dictate concern and consideration at the word-level.


Today's constraints are...

1) Your title must be four words long and not include an E.
2) You must not begin any sentences with articles.
3) You must end your piece with the phrase "smashed on the sidewalk".
4) You must include three things which are red.
5) You must begin every new paragraph/stanza with a three word sentence.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise July 5, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Ekphrasis.

Ekphrasis is from Greek meaning the description of a work of art as a rhetorical device. That's actually pretty straight forward, but another way to look at it, is it's highfalutin fan fiction, usually about paintings or pieces of music, but it can be about virtually anything. Look at or listen to the following piece of art and write a piece of prose or poetry that is inspired by some aspect of it.



Today's artwork is...

Raspberries and Salmonberries. Photo taken by Francois de Melogue.


These berries are plump and look juicy. I would recommend reading up a little on salmonberries, as they're a slightly out of the ordinary fruit, and we writers love those slightly out of the ordinary things, don't we?

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise July 4, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Narrative thread.

About today's writing prompt genre: Take the following story aspect and work it into a piece, whether poetry or prose, whether you explore what led up to this place in the story, it begins with the thread, or the thread is merely a tiny aspect of the story that has crystallized around the original image. However you choose to write it, use the following as a jumping off point.


Today's thread is...


Tell us about the firework accident.


Take whichever tact you want, whether an innocent encounter with black cats as a kid, a more serious childhood accident, or you can go for high stakes and it could be an accident at a firework factory that sets off 2.5 million individual fireworks. Or whatever you want. Just get all Fourth of July on us.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Notebooking Daily Writing Exercise July 2, 2015

Daily Exercise Genre: Narrative thread.

About today's writing prompt genre: Take the following story aspect and work it into a piece, whether poetry or prose, whether you explore what led up to this place in the story, it begins with the thread, or the thread is merely a tiny aspect of the story that has crystallized around the original image. However you choose to write it, use the following as a jumping off point.



Today's thread is...



Tell the story of "All that glitters isn't gold" from the perspective of a pyrite-lover.


For this one, write a story where what might be an unfortunate turn of events due to something impersonating something else generally thought to be more prestigious/better (gold/pyrite, diamonds/cubic zirconium, or much more familiar, a ginger who dyes their hair blonde gets stuck with a new boyfriend on a desert island and he actually likes gingers—sci-fi works, right? Just kidding Gingers, no prejudice here. Or perhaps an earthquake causes massive destruction, but also creates a beautiful view for a small subsection of the populace. Maybe a monkey's paw-like story turns a man into a fish, but as luck would have it he had recurring dreams of being a dolphin and is happy with the change.)