Friday, July 22, 2011

Baggott & Asher Writerly Boot Camp. Day 19.

Today, at a glance, looks stripped down, but READING AS A WRITER will be a little more work. Have at it.

[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.]

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 with thieving, vandalism, and one associated with divorce.

2. Reading as a writer.
Today, practice plotting. Read book jackets -- summaries of books you love -- then write a few summaries of books that don't exist (except perhaps in your mind). Write three, if you can, in different genres. (Maybe historical fiction, mystery, experimental ... ) In my novel seminar, I make the grad students write summaries of many different genres over the course of the semester. It should be liberating.
3. The Quote. Everyday I will provide a quote and either a little rant on it or an exercise paired with it.

“Memory is a net.” Olive Wendell Holmes

This is why we do the memory exercises. Use the net.

4. 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