Not My Mother!

Since this is a holiday week, my plan is for all my posts to be short. I have a lot to do, and my little brain is already mushy.

So here are some writing exercises for you to try. They might also help a blocked NaNo-er or two.

  • Write a scene between two people using only dialogue.
  • Write the same scene, from the same point of view, using no dialogue.
  • Using a timer, free-write for 15 minutes.
  • Choose a place you've never been, local or around the world - use a photo or create your own world if you wish - and write a few paragraphs about your first impressions. Use all five senses and create an emotional mood. No travelogues :)
  • Pick one of your characters. Introduce him or her to your mother. You know how your mother is. Umm-hmm. Betcha learn something new.

That's it.

Keep writing!


Lydia Kang said…
I'm going to steal an idea and write for 15 minutes. THanks!~
And hope your week goes well!

* gobble gobble *
Anonymous said…
Interesting exercises. I'll try one while using a timer set for fifteen minutes. Kill two birds with one stone. Have a great week!
Mason Canyon said…
Great tips no matter what your writing (or trying to write). Have a great Thanksgiving.

Thoughts in Progress
Carol Kilgore said…
Lydia - Go for it. And I hope all goes well, too.

Stephen - There you go! As Lydia says...gobble, gobble :)

Mason - You, too!
Arlee Bird said…
I guess I don't need this right now, but it's good exercise for someone who is stuck. It's kind a thing one could use along with my post on the similar topic today.

Got my turkey and ham, but now have to go shopping for the rest of the dinner stuff tomorrow.

Enjoy your week.

Tossing It Out
LR said…
Great writing exercises. :)

Have fun basting your turkey.
Carol Kilgore said…
Arlee - It does go with your post. Great minds :) My shopping is done, but nothing else.

LR - I found the baster!
I like your ideas for writing exercises, and the one about introducing a character to my mother made me laugh. I'll have to give them all a try.
Talli Roland said…
Great prompts! I like the free-writing one. I need to do more of that!

Happy Monday, Carol!
Maryannwrites said…
Good writing exercises, and I will try the one about introducing a character to my mother when I have more time. That's a new one to me.

When I took a scriptwriting class with Joe Camp, he had us write the opening scene of a movie with no dialogue. That was a tough exercise, but sure taught me the power of visuals to tell a story on screen.
Elspeth Futcher said…
Excellent tips, Carol! The last one made me snort with laughter; the poor character wouldn't have a chance.
Conda Douglas said…
Thank you for this, it helps this way behind NaNo-er!
that would do it, thanx for the tips Carole
Those are wicked!
Not stuck here - I'm on a Nano roll.
Carol Kilgore said…
Jane - Mothers are like that :)

Talli - I should free-write more, too.

Maryann - I think suspense movies work better than other genres with no dialogue in the opening.

Elspeth - I see your mother was one of those, too :)

Conda - Good luck!

Joanna - My pleasure.

Alex - Wicked is my middle name. Didn't I tell you?
Southpaw said…
I’ve been doing the 10-15 minute blocks and it has helped me keep moving.
Anonymous said…
I think my brain is mushy too this week! Which means I like this post, mainly because the tips are SO good. I like it so much I'm printing it out for future reference!! Thanks.
Oh, these are fun! Thanks for the ideas, Carol. :) I'm always looking for ways to keep my writing fresh!
VR Barkowski said…
Thanks for the exercises! Think I'll introduce them to my dad, though, my mom always refused to say a bad word about anybody. No fun in that. :)
Carol Kilgore said…
Holly - Good for you!

Ann - Cool. I'm glad you like the suggestions. Hope they work for you.

Elizabeth - Hope they work for you, too :)

VR - Oh will be best :) But what a nice mom!
I've discovered these writing prompts are great for bloggers on those days we have nothing to write about. But I still can't get started on the next book...
Angela said…
When I introduced people to my mother, she was always good for a surprise. She spotted exactly the peculiarities of the person, and I was lucky if she only told them to me LATER! Yes, that is a fun idea!

Last night we watched Walker, Texas Ranger on TV again. Did you ever notice how funnily he WALKS? My mother would have.
Hart Johnson said…
Dialog ALWAYS helps get me going again. It is definitely the way I think of my story.

I hope your Thanksgiving prep goes smoothly (though am SO GLAD that is hubby's domain at my house)
Carol Kilgore said…
Patricia - Freewriting helps a lot when I'm wondering what to blog about. Sometimes i make two or three false starts.

Angela - Both my grandmothers were like your mother! I haven't seen Walker in years, but I remember he sort of swaggered in those boots. Chuck Norris is very short, I think. Maybe that had something to do with it.

Hart - Thanks. I way overuse dialogue in the first draft and end up cutting mounds of useless chatter as I revise and edit.
Manzanita said…
Looks like you're going to be one busy MAMA for the holidays. I'm choosing to stay home alone and on my juicing diet. I love that new home look you have. It's so perky and yes, merlot please. That was always my favorite. No wine this holiday, just the carrot juice. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family.
With loving thoughts, Manzanita
Unknown said…
I once wrote a scene in all dialogue and it turned into a novel. So, I think it's a great exercise.

Glynis Jolly said…
The last one is the easiest to do. Of course I'm past the point where I care about if my mother approves or not. She's past that age too.
Carol Kilgore said…
Manzanita - Hmmm...what's in your carrot juice :) I still have the same look here, but I thank you for the warm wishes all the same. Happy Thanksgiving.

Clarissa - I guess so! Good for you.

Glynnis - mother's quite open minded, but one of my aunts, could talk for days about some of my characters.
Anonymous said…
Good ideas, Carol! Short posts = sanity in a holiday week. :)
Carol Kilgore said…
For both writers and readers.
notesfromnadir said…
These are all great ideas. Thanks for sharing them! :)