Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Faculty Voices: Kelly Easton

Here are eight writing prompts to jump start your day. These writing exercises should be undertaken the second you wake up, and before you have done anything, not even made a cup of coffee. Give yourself fifteen minutes. Come on, anyone can write for fifteen minutes, although no one will complain if you write longer! Ideally, this will help you deal with the following paradox: that we need to take our writing seriously, but not ourselves too seriously. Does that make sense? Try to take these prompts in unexpected and original directions. Let me know how it works out.

  1. Write a monologue from the perspective of a girl standing in a train station staring onto the empty tracks. She’s not going to jump. The first line is this: When a feather falls, I know that it is spring…
  2. Write a picture book in fifteen minutes from the point of view of a country or town.
  3. Remember a joke you know and begin a story or scene with it.
  4. Create a character called The Philosopher and add him or her to your current piece. Write a scene where he or she enters randomly.
  5. Make a list of five frightening things (that are not obvious—like zombies). Write a dialogue between two characters where these things come up in conversation.
  6. Write a story stemming from a scene from your childhood that is 40 characters long and includes some metaphysical detail (however you interpret that). Do not use any adverbs or adjectives.
  7. Take a piece of your writing and cut the first two sentences and the last two sentences. Then cut every single adverb or adjective, and filter word.
  8. Write about the following emotions using the objects listed, and never using an emotional word (such as cried, tears, laughed etc.)
    Anger: paper bag, apple, Harvard
    Love: an origami bird, yardstick, cellulite
    Loneliness: cave, pomegranate, clown.

1 comment:

  1. Great prompts, Kelly! I wonder if some of these might inspire stories we see at Hamline during the semester or at residency.