Friday, July 04, 2008

What goes on here? Who lives here? Who visits here? Why?

The Kitchen List

I made a list of ten things I could see in my kitchen. You can use my list (below) or make your own list of ten things found in a room of your house.

My Kitchen List

1. toaster oven
2. bagels
3. cookie jar
4. scrub brush
5. paper towels
6. blender
7. Bart Simpson potholder
8. Smiley drinking glass
9. Disinfectant spray
10. soft-white light bulbs

Use the ten items in a story, screenplay scene, paragraph, or any other writing form that pleases you to do one or more of the following:

Play a practical joke
Create a spy thriller
Commit a murder
Help a woman have a baby
Prolong a life (until help arrives)
Make a science project
Steal something
get revenge
prove someone's innocence
weave into an episode of your favorite TV show

The challenge, of course, is that you must use all ten objects. You can add as many other objects or people or situations or conditions that you like, it is your writing, after all. But those ten specific items MUST be used. They can be crucial elements or simple things woven into your story. But they must be used. All of them.

What just happened here?

Murder? A wedding? Lovemaking? Someone's world just came crashing down? Someone's world just lit up with joy?

Pick any or all of these locations and tell us what just happened there:

As an exercise in genre, try doing more than one kind of story or scenario for one picture.

Do a murder mystery at the lighthouse, for example. Then do a romance.

Or do a science fiction or horror story by the bridge. Then create a comedy from that same setting.

And so on...

Color Test

Pick three colors - any three colors. Now, create a character and put them in a circumstance where each of those three colors plays a role in defining that character and/or the "circumstance" that starts your story and/or how your character overcomes adversity and is changed by the end of your story.


Colors: Red, Yellow, Blue

Character: Squiggles the Clown

Squiggles tries to hide it from his fellow circus performers but he has a deep psychological terror over the color Yellow. Something happened to him as a child that now forces him to associate the color Yellow with that horrible memory.

Squiggles loves Blue. In fact, he loves the color Blue so much, he painted the entire inside of his trailer Blue. It fights the Yellow in this world. Blue makes him feel safe.

Red is the color of pretty flowers and brand new bicycles but Red is also the color of what happens to little boys when they go into the Yellow.


Fill in the blanks of my little brain fart you see here or invent one of your own!

Story Mosaic

A mosaic is a picture composed of a lot of smaller pieces. The smaller pieces might be whole pictures of their own.

Using these "story pieces," create your own scene or paragraph or short story.

1. a young mother struggles with a full shopping cart and the baby in the baby seat

2. a teenage boy uses fake I.D. to purchase a gun

3. the terrifying memory of being lost and separated from family at a large amusement park

4. the teacher who smells like mothballs

5. a wallet stuffed with cash

6. the fragrance of jasmine

7. belly laugh

8. spilled tabasco sauce

9. three friends, together

10. the power goes out