#WritingAdviceWednesday – Writing Exercises: What About You?
Writing Advice Wednesday
It’s exercises like the one below that form part of my One Hour Screenwriter course, which will help you write an entire feature film script in 22 weeks. You can purchase it at the shop here. You can also read testimonies here that show my methods have worked for a variety of writers.
This week, it’s time to take a long, hard look at yourself…
Learn to Write What You Can Write
There isn’t a writer anywhere in the world that hasn’t felt overwhelmed, paralyzed, stymied or stuck. This feeling is a natural part of the writing process. It is a signal to stop and let the creative unconscious do its work.
It’s like trying to forcefully recall the name of a song on the tip of your tongue. The harder you try to think of the name the further it recedes from your grasp. The same is true with writing.
Does that mean you should stop writing and wait for inspiration to strike? No! It means you should prime the pump to get the creative juices flowing. How do you do that?
Write what you can write. Don’t worry about what you can’t write. Do a writing exercise or start with yourself.
For example: Answer the following questions in as much detail as possible:
1) Aside from writing well, what is the one thing you would like to do before you die?
2) What is your favorite thing about the physical space in which you live? Why?
3) Aside from your writing tools, house or car, what is the one physical inanimate object you couldn’t live without? Why?
4) Aside from writing, what is the one subject you are most opinionated about or the most passionate about? Why?
5) What’s the best decision you ever made? Why?
6) If you unexpectedly won $500, what would you do with the money?
7) What’s the best thing you ever got as a present? Why?
8) What is your ideal vacation or holiday trip? Why?
9) What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done to someone?
10) If you came back to life in a different career or profession, what would it be? Why?
11) What makes you feel in touch with your higher self? What makes you feel inspired or transcendent or moved in a profound way?
12) What is your lucky charm or talisman? Or has some object or item followed you around from place to place? It might be something silly you just like to have around? What is it?
Do you see any interesting patterns or recurring themes in your answers? What do your answers say about you? What themes, issues or words keep coming up? List these patterns and themes in your answers.
Now, answer the 12 questions for your main character.
Do you see patterns or themes you can explore?
What would drive your character crazy?
What would push your character outside his or her comfort zone?
What would make your character angry, upset or anxious?
What could you take away that would make your character miserable?
What would devastate or destroy your character?
What would make your character panic or lose control?
How many story events about those themes, patterns or situations can you create?
Add and embellish your notes. And keep writing!
Video Essay of the Week
I’m a huge fan of the most recent Planet of the Apes movies, and the second part of the trilogy, in particular, demonstrates the importance of perspective and thinking about the perspective of characters:
Let me know what you think of this week’s writing exercise by emailing me at ETBHelp@gmail.com. I’d love to hear from you as we go forward with more of these writing exercises. We’ll be back in the New Year with more writing exercises. Time to enjoy the holidays!
Until next time, remember- all you need to do is Get Started and Keep Going! But perhaps take Christmas off- you’ve earned it.