I’m a post behind in this 2013 WordCount Blogathon! Ah! I’ll make it up by the end of next weekend.
I quickly threw out a post Saturday morning about writers’ conferences just as I had arrived at the Canadian Authors Association CanWrite 2013 Conference. What a great way to spend a Saturday. It started with a hearty breakfast of eggs and bacon as any conference should. At ten, I headed to a creative writing circle facilitated by Susan Lynn Reynolds (writer, teacher and psychotherapist). We started with a quick meditation to relax our bodies and minds, then were instructed to write for ten minutes without allowing the pen to stop several times with various prompts to inspire us. The exercise was called On-the-Spot Writing. It was my first time doing this. I can’t say that my results were great as my mind strayed from the concepts of the prompts to multiple other things completely unrelated. However, fellow writers read some excellent material.
During a pleasant lunch, I somehow ended up joining the Canadian Authors Association Program Committee. I’m not even a member anymore! (Don’t know how I get myself into these things.) I guess I’ll have to pickup a membership at some point. Still it sounds like fun and the other three committee members are quite enthusiastic as is the executive. I’m looking forward to our first meeting.
The afternoon began with a panel on traditional vs self publishing. This one hour talk deserves its own post so check in tomorrow and I’ll tell you how a debate that, for me, has become repetitive and annoying, turned out to be interesting and informative.
I spent the end of my day with Cordelia Strube, nominee and winner of a long list of awards. She led a writing workshop called Writing is Re-writing: Improve Narrative Drive, Deepen Characterization. I did much better here than in the morning as my mind focused on a scene with the help a three props: a green plastic ring, a postcard from Hong Kong and a horoscope which encouraged Taurus’ to have goals but to be cautious of which were attainable and which should remain dreams. From that, I set a girl next door wearing a mint green ski jacket (inspired by the ring) in a strip joint (inspired by the postcard) bumping into a male employee (inspired by the horoscope). I’d never written with props before and believe that I will be integrating that into my writing from time to time. I can see this as a great way to improve a boring scene besides hitting the delete button, of course. (I don’t know about you, but it’s one of my favorite buttons.)
Do you use on-the-spot writing to inspire you? What kind of props have led you to write interesting scenes? Are there any writing exercises you swear by?