Write Over the Hump: Weird, Wonderful and Wacky

Here’s one you can use as is about your friend, or substitute your character. It’s another way to twist the way you look at your characters to help you find the weird, the wonderful, the wacky, the unique. You can do this for your settings, too.

Write Over the Hump

If your best friend were a bowl of cereal, what kind would he/she be, and why? Write for 10 minutes.

What kind of cereal did your friend end up becoming?

Write Over the Hump: Tension and Themes

Juxtaposing opposite concepts often leads us into new territory. Opposites both attract and repel. Built-in tension! Learning to use opposing concepts to delineate and define the themes in our writing lifts our stories to a higher level.

Write Over the Hump

Use these words in your writing: ice cream, winter, snow, flakes, blizzard, parkas, boots, mittens. Start with: “The hot, torrid days of summer wrapped around us…” And no fair having your characters think about, talk about or dream about winter… Your 10 minutes start now.

 

Where did these opposing concepts take your story?

 

 

Write Over the Hump: Iconic Phrases

Certain phrases are iconic. They can unlock the child in us and free our imagination to go just about anywhere. When that happens, amazing things emerge from our subconscious minds. Here’s one of the most iconic phrase to start you off.

Write Over the Hump

Give yourself 10 minutes and start with this: “Once upon a time, it…” Start now!

 

What happened in your “once upon a time”?

 

Write Over the Hump: Characters and Settings as Art

As writers, we want our characters and our settings to be memorable and unique. This isn’t always easy to accomplish.  They key is to look at your characters and settings as something other than what they actually are. That way, we will see things we normally wouldn’t. Try this.

Write Over the Hump

If you (or your character, or your setting) were a piece of fine art, what would you/he/she/it be, any why? What aspects of that piece of art would define the characteristics of that character or place? Take 10 minutes to write starting now.

 
What art work did your character or setting end up being?

Write Over the Hump: Wacky Concepts

Off-the-wall concepts can often jump-start our creativity because they are so ridiculous from the outset that our conscious logic goes out the window. We are able to set aside pre-conceived notions about how things are supposed to be and simply let things develop as they will. That’s a skill that translates well when we get back to the “real” world of our normal writing. Here’s a wacky place to start.

Write Over the Hump

You are a contestant on a weird game show. Your task is to design and knit/crochet/weave a sweater for Bigfoot. What does the sweater look like? Write about it for 10 minutes.

 
What did your sweater design look like?

(More about last week’s words. They are actual words and come from Egypt: pehty = strength; abed = month; sheney = hair)

Write Over the Hump: Defining New Words

I love to learn new words when I’m reading a book. And I’m especially pleased when a writer uses the new-to-me word in a way that allows me to figure out its meaning from the context alone. That way I don’t have to stop to look it up in the dictionary. Elizabeth George is a master at this. I almost never have to fetch a dictionary when I’m immersed in her delightful vocabulary.

The “big words” we use need to be clear to readers from context alone. And it shouldn’t sound as though the writer is defining the term, talking down to the reader or feel awkward in the sentence structure. This isn’t as easy as it sounds, but with a little practice it can become second nature. Try this fun exercise to start.

Write Over the Hump 

Use these words in a story or scene: pehty; abed; sheney. Write so that the reader can understand what they mean just from the context. Do NOT define words anywhere in the text of the story. Give yourself 10 minutes. Go!

 

How did you use these words?

(Be sure to check back next week for more on these three words.)

Book Launch!

It’s here, finally, my new book. I am pleased and excited to announce the launch of Proof of Identity, a paranormal suspense novel, in both print and as an ebook. Both are available on Amazon, the print as part of Create Space and the ebook, of course, on Kindle. Check out the fantabulous cover my son designed, using the original fingerprints used to identify the whorls and ridges that make each print unique. Since fingerprints are at the heart of this story, it’s a very appropriate—as well as graphic—cover.

Proof of Identity is the story of a woman who is arrested for the murder of a man she’d never heard of, or met. But police have witnesses who saw her leave the scene covered in blood, and her fingerprints are on the murder weapon.

TEST1-Proof-of-Identity-Kindle

Hope you like the story! If you do, please drop by Amazon and leave a review. Good reviews are an author’s lifeblood in this digital age.

Find Proof of Identity here:

Print Book: http://amzn.to/1eO8E8g

Kindle Bookhttp://amzn.to/1h3aSUK

Oh, and Tangled Webs is now an ebook! Finally got it done for all you fans who have been requesting it. Here’s the link. Enjoy, and don’t forget to post a review once you’re done reading!

Tangled Webs, ebook: http://amzn.to/1cnnw0Z

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Write Over the Hump: Looking for Logic

Disparate concepts make us stretch and twist to make logical connections. Unlike in life, things in fiction have to make sense, no matter how disconnected they seem to be. Trust your subconscious to find the logical links. Try this and see what happens.

Write Over the Hump

 Paper; eggplant; stapler; quilt; yarn; shoes; award; photo album. Use these words in a story or scene. Write for10 minutes starting now.

How did you join these words into a logical whole?

 

Write Over the Hump: Overheard Snippets

Phrases we overhear can be fantastic starting points for stories and scenes, because we have to fill in the numerous blanks to make sense of what we’ve heard. Our creative imaginings go into overdrive. It’s a great idea to keep a small notebook with you to jot down those random words and phrases for later use. Try this one to start with.

Write Over the Hump

Write a story starting with this actual overheard snippet of conversation: “He said he’d do it for me if…” 10 minutes: start now!

What would he do? And did he do it?

Write Over the Hump: Character Revelations

Random events that happen can often be used to reveal character in our writing. Whether our characters are happy about it, sad, angry or indifferent, their response to these events lets the reader understand them a little better. (And if we’re writing about ourselves, exploring our feelings helps us understand ourselves that much more.)

Write Over the Hump

You have just inherited a lamp from your favorite relative. Decide whether you like or hate it. Now write about that lamp and what it means to you for 10 minutes.

 

How did you, or your character, react to this odd inheritance?