Saturday, July 16, 2011

Baggott & Asher Writerly Boot Camp. Day 13

I was MIA. I'm back. (Let's not go over the details.
Short version: your commander is a lightweight.)

Okay, we're back!

[If you find yourself here, baffled, lost, disoriented,

here's the link to the post that might clarify
what you've just stumbled upon --
complete with pic of Louis Gossett Jr.
and Richard Gere.]

A small note: If you want to share your bits, head on over to the link that I post on Facebook every morning around 9 or 10am. You can decide how much or how little you want to share. You don't have to share ANYthing at all. Not one word. (People have been asking and I had mentioned opening up my comments section but have decided Facebook works just fine.)
I'm there at this link.

Exercises 1-4 will be used in exercise 6.

1. Memory Exercise. This is designed to guide you (goad you) into mucking around where the important, psychologically resonant stuff is stored.

Today, write about your present day phobias with detailed back story.

2. Eavesdropping Exercise.

Imagine you're in the first place you ever worked -- what does it sound llike? What's being said? Go back in your head and listen.

3. Reading as a writer. I'll be mixing this up from day to day, with some repeats.

Think about books about work, ones in which you get a real look into an industry, a business, a shop ... Think back again on those early jobs of yours, think of your parents' jobs -- all of those characters and conflicts, that fertile setting. Readers love an inside look. List some of the books that swirl around work and then your own insider knowledge ... Is there something to draw on? (There is.)

4. Image Exercise. This one is also the same every day -- more or less -- and hopefully habit-forming. Jot 3 images. Look at something closely. Notice something. Pay attention.

Today, pick things from jobs -- the small instruments of a craft, the larger machinery, the hum and swirl of that space -- whatever it may be.

5. The Quote. Everyday I will provide a quote and either a little rant on it or an exercise paired with it.

“Nothing you write, if you hope to be any good, will ever come out as you first hoped.” Lillian Hellman

I map. I need to know where I'm headed. I have to have a plan. But Lillian is right. For something to rise up -- really start taking its own full breaths -- I have to leave the map and follow. The map is only an etching. You're trying to create the land itself.

6. Quilting Exercise. This will always be the same but the parts will change daily.

Pick and choose from the things you've jotted so far -- those disparate elements -- and use them to create something. But don't force it too hard. Have some faith in the resonance of these things in and of themselves. These elements have all been dredged to the surface. They're bobbing in your brain. Start writing something even if you don't know what it is. Let these things bounce in and out. Work. Row.