That's partly why I wanted to start this blog, to help myself and anyone else who may feel a little insecure about entering the world of a writer.
One of the first books I checked out on my initial foray into serious writing was Writing Magic, by Gail Carson Levine.
I adore this book. It's written for kids, but that hasn't stopped me from loving it. I think it's fitting to use a writing book intended for a younger audience when I'm trying to write for that audience.
Gail Levine is such a hopeful writer. I knew it was going to be a good book when I read her Writer's Oath:
"I promise solemnly:
Each chapter teaches an idea: chapter 20, for example teaches about showing and telling in writing; chapter 17, the one I need right now, is how to get over being stuck in the progress of your story.
I accept these responsibilities and honor them always."
- To write as often and as much as I can,
- to respect my writing and myself,
- to nurture the writing of others.
There are 30 chapters in all and each chapter has a writing exercise at the end. The first chapter's exercise is a blast. She gives a list of first lines and then the instructions to choose one, write about it for at least 20 minutes and save it.
One example of possible choices was, "I have one green eye and one brown eye. The green eye sees truth, but the brown eye sees much, much more."
We did this exercise as a writing group and each came up with very different and compelling stories.
I loved this exercise so much, I started thinking up random first lines and writing them down. One idea sparked a story I'd never have thought of otherwise, so here goes.
Write down three first lines. Choose one and then write about it for 20 minutes. If you need some inspiration, here's some you can choose from:
- It’s a little creepy talking to a disembodied voice.
- "Pardon me," said the stranger weaving through the discounted antique furniture, "can you change a doubloon?"
- The world was about to end, and I couldn't find my purse.
- It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...the very worst of times in fact...
- Demoted! How could I, the king's head jelly bean taster, fall so far from grace?
Still stuck? Try these creative writing exercise from the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/10/best-creative-writing-exercises_n_805914.html#slide=220936
And if you just need a pep talk to get you going, try this:
As Ms. Levine advises in her book, adapt any of the ideas to suit your mood, and above all, "Have fun."
P.S. Please feel free to post your opening line ideas and a brief paragraph of what you wrote from it if you choose.