To stir things up and come at story telling from a new angle, here’s some calesthenics to get the rusted cogs and wheels rolling in. Consider making a recipe for love, hate, or fear for your antagonist. Or, try composing an epistle for yourself, your lover, or your protagonist’s ex-lover as a character study. The possibilities are limitless.
- Letter to Future Self
- Letter to Past Self
- Letter to Nobody
- A Personal Ad for Your Past Self (pick a decade or milestone year)
- A Personal Ad for Your Future Self
- Letter to Student or Writer
- A Story (short story, novel, novella, poem, personal essay) that Has the Cycle of Lives about One Family: death, birth, marriage, first home, bankruptcy (for a novel each chapter can be one of the milestones above) *Be sure to wrap each chapter or section around a specific focus: object, emotion, weather pattern, song/film/novel, building, or an action/act
- Landscape as Lover- if the land were a lover what kind would it be?
In playing with these exercises, know that you don’t need to explain everything. Nothing need be linear or chronological. Make the reader piece the puzzle together. Think in scenes and objects to get out of the theme-driven writing.
Have some gymnastic routines to get your literary motor running? Send them our way.