Recapturing the Muse!

Recapturing the Muse

Here was an interesting exercise we did in writing with my local romance writer’s chapter this past weekend. Each member brought in a sack of six items and then we passed them around. We had fifteen minutes to write a story, then share with the group. After we finished this, we had time enough to write a new story, swapping our goodies with another member. Ironically, we all had an easier time coming up with the first story. It was as if our minds were still hooked on the earlier story, and we had to shift gears too quickly to come up with a new story.

How else can you encourage your muse to jump into a creative writing exercise?

Begin a sentence: The cop pulled over the pickup, expecting to give a warning for a blinking taillight, but as he approached the back, the odor from the bed of the truck nearly knocked him off his feet.

Now, everyone can come up with a story, and as vast as writers’ backgrounds are, you can be sure everyone will create a unique tale.

Or start out with a prompt: If I had a million dollars, I would…

Or take a well-known fairytale and have everyone turn it into something different, different ending, maybe the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella has ulterior motives, maybe it’s set on Mars…

Writing exercises like this can help stimulate your muse. Brainstorming can too. With others or on your own, come up with twenty ways to solve a problem, or create a motivation, or a goal for your characters. By digging deeper, we can come up with twists and turns we might not have thought of initially.

So if your stuck, get creative! Recapture your muse!

Terry Spear


Vonda Sinclair said...

Those sound like fun exercises, Terry. Sometimes I'll do something similar when trying to brainstorm new story ideas. Especially with short stories, it seems easier. Like... okay. I need an Easter story idea. What kind of setting would work? And I'd make a mental list of those. What kinds of things could happen, conflicts, etc? And pretty soon a story has evolved. I love the object idea too.

Natasha Moore said...

Terry, I love writing exercises. My local RWA chapter does them sometimes. I've sold a couple stories that started as writing exercises for my chapter :)