Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Baggott & Asher Writerly Boot Camp. Day 16.

[If you don't know what's going on,
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.]

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, jot a memory associated childhood pets -- yours and the neighbors'. [Image above is Wilfred, from the new series. Haven't yet seen but deeply desire to.]

2. Eavesdropping Exercise. This exercise is ALWAYS the same, every day. Give me 3 things you've overheard. Start a good writerly habit.

Today, catch yourself saying something that, if overheard and taken out of context, could have a very different meaning. Build something around it?
3. Reading as a writer. I'll be mixing this up from day to day, with some repeats.

Read outside of your genre today -- if you're a fiction writer, read some poems (google: poetry daily for good ones), if a poet and you read a lot of fiction, read a screenplay online ... What does the other genre have to teach you?
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, give me things that you'd find if you drained a lake.

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

“… he wanted to heat up the truth, to make it burn so hot that you would feel exatly what he felt.” From “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong,” in Tim O’Brien THE THINGS THEY CARRIED

I give a speech about this line. Basically, it's permission to burn it up. Bring it. Don't hold back. If you want us to feel what you felt, you're going to have to go deep.

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.

Remember: If this works for you in some way -- this daily jump start --
and the writing that comes of it startles you in a good way --
then you might want to sign up for THE WRITING REGIMENS at THE SOUTHEAST REVIEW. It's super cheap and very smart and jammed with great resources and pep talks and exercises. Brilliant stuff and a great way to support a literary magazine at the same time.
(They also have contests and post winning works by regimen participants
so a good way to get published.)
If you want to know when the next one is, email southeastreview@gmail.com.