Wednesday, July 21, 2010

If This Pen Could Talk

I’m revising a short story right now. The story is about the aftermath of a shooting that takes place on a college campus. I wrote the story during a weekend workshop titled SUDDENLY FICTION during the Iowa Summer Writing Festival. I attend the festival almost every year, and it’s the best writing I do every 365 days or so. With choices of over 200 workshops every summer, I’ve had my share of workshops that were less than great.

However, this year I chose wisely. As a self-defined writing exercise junkie, I revel in the opportunity to enhance my writing skills and use my pen in new ways by doing exercises designed to hone specific skills. The one I enjoyed most from the Suddenly Fiction workshop was where our instructor, Elizabeth Stuckey-French, suggested that we write from a perspective different/opposite from our own. For example: imagine being pro-life and being chosen to lead a discussion on the merits of pro-choice. I can’t describe how liberating this was. Suddenly (as the workshop title implied) I wrote freely in a way that allowed me to create a character I’m utterly fascinated with.

And now, the contrast. I’m a lazy writer. If I’m producing creative writing . . . pages or scenens in the 1,000s of words, those pages better fit somehow into my WIP (work in progress). I’m not at all into the "stare at the orange and describe it in minute detail” kind of writing exercises unless I’m writing about a character who is obsessed with oranges and that description will become part of my manuscript.

So for those of you with a similar mind, I’m writing this blog. My goal is to share my ventures into creative writing that have enhance my writing and make me excited about all those words. In doing so, my hope is that you stumble across something you can use to stay excited about your writing.

I’m going to say what my pen would say if it could talk. I hope you’ll join me here often and do the same.

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