Sunday, September 4, 2016

An Idea for You: Just Write



Today, just pick up your pen and put it to paper, or open a document and hit the keyboard. Just start writing what pops into your mind.

Keep writing until an idea begins to form, then just imagine and let your thinking flow through your fingers. Keep writing. If you reach a blank just type or write the last word you wrote over and over until the mood of your mind hatches another happening to add.

Switch topics, or don't.

Just keep writing without worry for spelling or paragraphing or punctuation. 

Time yourself for three minutes.  How many words did you write or type?

Time yourself for another three minutes. Did you write or type more than before?

Repeat again.

Now look over what you wrote -- read for a possible idea, good descriptions, strong verbs, a short story, humor.  Highlight those parts.

Find a part with possibilities. Something of interest to you that you could add more detail and action, or change into a poem,  or rewrite as a song. Circle it. 

Here's an example [notice lack of punctuation and capitalization -- just getting ideas down].

I pushed and ran with Jack on the bike letting go as he found his balance proud he could take off the first time and just fly down the sidewalk until his bike edged towards the landscaped edging of the lawn; the tire stuck and stopped and Jack flew off onto the sidewalk.
Save it for another day, or if possible, begin sculpting the story: cut out what doesn't work, and dig in a detail. Refine what's good already. Don't try to be perfect or tell the whole story: just get this part penned better.   Slow down the action, and describe second by second. Here's an example:

Jack slid his leg over the bike and placed his right foot upon the petal. He nodded, his helmet firmly on, and his eyes looking straight ahead, ready to ride. 
I balanced the bike as he pushed his front pedal down, propelling himself and the bike forward. I let go of the handlebar and began running beside him, holding onto the seat, until his balance and force took control. He flew down the gray sidewalk like a pro, squealing with delight.  
I was left behind to watch this daredevil race at full speed down the sidewalk, feeling the pride he must feel in his first attempt to ride his new blue bike with no training wheels.  
Brother Bob cheered him on, and we enjoyed the seemingly perfect first ride. But then his bike edged towards the landscaped edging of the lawn, that small ditch stopping the lawn from overgrowing onto the sidewalk, just wide enough for a bike tire.  
My hands flew to cover my scream, "Watch out!" 
Jack's tire stuck in the edging which stopped the bike and sent Jack summersaulting over the handlebar and onto the sidewalk, thud. Still. 
Bob and I rushed to the unconscious five-year-old just as he came to, reaching for his bike and another daring ride.

Do you see how the short idea paragraph was expanded with details so the reader could imagine the story with the writer's words? Do you see how the action is slowed down, and details added to put the reader right into the action. Do you see all the strong verbs of action [in bold]? It's still not perfect, but it's ready for the Writers Notebook to save for another day -- to add to a story that hasn't been written yet, but whose character development has begun with one free-write.

Go ahead! Try it. Develop your fluency with Power Writing.

If you want more information on Power Writing, click here.

Share your work or a link to it in the comments below.