Monday, April 13, 2009

A New Direction

Hello, Word for Word Readers—

First of all, congratulations! You've made the big leap and have begun your story! Characters have introduced themselves to you. Situations have emerged. Complications abound! And you are in the middle of it all. What an exciting time in the process!

Okay, so now that you've done all this, it's time to push forward into a new direction. I'm about to give you a nonsequitur sentence, which is simply a transition I've randomly pulled from The Writers Toolbox. It's designed to throw you a little off course. Don't worry, it won't be painful! However, it will get you to think outside the box and take your narrative into a new direction you couldn't have possibly predetermined. This is the whole point of right brain writing—to keep your story fresh and organic. It gets the writer's critical/analytical left-brain out of the way so that your story's twists and turns will surprise even you.

Okay, so here's what I'd like you to do. Take a look at the sentence below and then just "live" with it for a few days. Let it sink into your subconscious mind. Walk around with it in your head, but wait until Saturday or Sunday to begin writing. You're going to take this sentence and add it onto the first 500 words of your story. Don't worry about whether it connects or even makes sense right away. Go with the flow. Write quickly without overthinking. Don't censor yourself or try too hard to make it make sense. This is the part of your story that is still opening to the world, so anything is possible. It's time to take some literary risks, since you're approaching what screenwriters call "the midpoint crisis," so this is no time to be timid. Let it rip! And have fun! Now here's your nonsequitur:

We were drinking champagne and losing our shirts.

Write just 500 words. I'll be back next week with another prompt to add to your story.

Respond to the prompt by sending your entry to When the contest closes, we'll announce the winner and post the entry on the blog. The winner will receive The Writer's Toolbox.

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