This week's exercise depends on all of you much more than it does on me. I'm going to ask you to offer each other prompts to write about. If you'd like to play along, please leave a prompt in the comments section below. Your prompt should be a 1-4 sentence snippet of an idea, and it should include the following:
- a specific place
- a person or people performing an action
- a thought one of the people has
- the mention or description of a person's eyes, hands, or mouth
- a tool, a piece of furniture, or a type of food or drink
That sounds like a lot, doesn't it? I assure you that it's not hard. I'll give you a couple of sample prompts, and then you can dream up one or two of your own to share.
Sample Writing Prompts:
"As Lila rounded the corner of the barn, she heard whistling--not a cat call, but a real tune. 'Singin' in the Rain,' she realized after a handful of notes, which meant Jesse was already there on the front porch, leaning too far back in the rocker, like always. Her feet picked up the pace before she could stop them, and her hands rushed to smooth her hair, gone wild in the rain."
"Eddie can't remember the last time he stayed up this late--maybe never. The light on his bedside table glows like a spaceship in the dark, and downstairs he can hear grownups' voices, sometimes hushed, sometimes growing louder when the phone rings. Earlier in the night, one of the aunts brought him a peanut butter sandwich and a glass of milk. He'd glanced up at her from his comic book, and her large, red-rimmed eyes had reminded him of the space alien in the story."
Leave a Prompt, Take a Prompt:
Once you've left a prompt, feel free to grab one by someone else and try using it as inspiration for a bit of writing. It doesn't have to be a prompt that has anything to do with your own life. In fact, sometimes these work well when they don't have much to do with our own experiences.
Once you've selected one, open your writing notebook, and write the prompt down at the top of a fresh page. Start freewriting and see where it takes you. Don't feel like you have to be a slave to the prompt. It might just be a starting point that leads you somewhere quite unexpected. Or, you might find that you stick with those characters and that setting. There's no one right way to do it.
Give yourself at least half an hour of uninterrupted time. You might find that you begin something you can't resist coming back to and working on more. I often find that I write for at least an hour when a prompt has captured my imagination.
We'll all be depending on each other to make this exercise work! Please toss a prompt or two into the comments. The more the merrier. If you end up posting what you've written on your own blog, as always, send me the url, and I'll post a link to it next week.
Speaking of links, here are a few to various people's takes on the Love Letter Exercise:
Relyn's letter at Come Sit By My Fire
Char's letter at Ramblins
Vicki's letter at Maple Tree
Jenner's letter at Jennerally Speaking
Thank you so much for sharing these letters and links! You all make me want to keep doing the Freewrite Fridays.