The following is just Steps 1 and 2 from the previous writing activity. We did this in my graduate fiction writing workshop this week (Jan. 16, 2019). Here’s what I came up with in my 5 minutes:
Shiny. That’s what drew me close. And as I approached it, my own image enlarged – me walking, reaching toward my own outstretched hand. Two gaping depths at the top. My investigative fingers soon found sharp metal strips along the inside. I withdrew them and peered in to discover thick metal rods–one in each slot, parallel to the tabletop. Carefully, I dip my fingers in again to learn that each rod is bouncy. I turn the reflective round box and find a black spindle encircled with miniature lines and symbols. Finally, I see a lever on the side’s center, which I learn enables me to lower the metal rods inside to a locked position.
Here’s something that came up just yesterday in my Creative Writing class.
- create a list of 12-15 objects found around the house (no humans or animals, preferably)
- choose one and write for five minutes describing the object as if you’ve never seen it before.
- Create a list of themes from books, stories, poems, movies, and TV shows that appeal to you (e.g. love conquers all, coming-of-age, good over evil; empathy; challenges of prejudice, etc.)
- Now, brainstorm a potential plot by beginning with a theme and including the chosen object for #2 as a symbol
household item – mousetrap
theme – value of integrity
Plot idea – a nervous boy wants to try out for the HS football team but knows he’s likely to be bullied by bigger, stronger kids. After being victimized, he places a bunch of mousetraps throughout the locker room to get back at them.
options—the plan fails but he’s not found out; the plan fails and he’s eventually caught; the play succeeds but the other boys don’t change; the plan succeeds but the boy is caught and expelled for bullying/attacking his classmates…
I don’t know…but it’s something, right?