Thursday, March 27, 2008

This is Ground Control

I had my first Speculative Fiction Writing Group meeting tonight. We did a little exercise that I will share with you this evening and then we passed out our pieces to be critiqued. I ran some errands afterwards and when I got home I wondered what it would be like to be reading my story for the first time as it might be being read at that exact moment. I pulled out a spare copy I had printed. Much to my dismay I found about 5 or 6 corrections! Oh no! It looks like someone needs to follow their own advice... You know what's worse? This is the very same story I submitted to the Bebo Author competition. Don't I feel like a dummy!
The sad thing is that I read it over three times and then even read it aloud to my wife with a pen in my hand. This just stresses the point that you need some time to build separation so your mind doesn't expect the words and pre-form them as you read. You end up skipping over some of your mistakes and then you feel like a goof just like I do now. The problem was that I finished it one day before the deadline, not much time for a separation there, eh? The corrections have been made now, better late than never?
Anyway, here is the exercise we did this evening. If you can spare the time, take out a notebook or a open up a word processing program and do it as well. Angela, our group leader, will be emailing me the 2nd part of it and I will post that in a couple days so you can see how it works out. It's actually pretty neat. Some of you may have seen this before, but I suspect it will be new to the majority of you.

Creative Writing Exercise:

Answer the following questions in paragraph format. Be as creative as you wish.

1. You're in a forest, describe it. (What kind is it? the trees, the light, the atmosphere, and so on.)

2. You follow a path. Describe it. (As above.)

3. You see an object.(whatever you decide.) What is it, and what do you do with it?

4. As you follow your way through the forest, you suddenly see an obstacle. What is it? Describe it again.

5. How do you overcome the obstacle? (Is it hard to do, easy, tricky, requires no effort at all, or what?)

6. As you walk again deeper into the woods, you see a lake. Describe it.

7. What do you do? How do you react to the lake?

8. If you travel even further, what do you finally meet or see?

Do this exercise and keep it handy. I will post up the second half when I get it and I'll even share what I wrote with you as well!


Laura Brown said...

Very good choose your own adventure. :) I didn't get out to the coffee shop tonight. But, I might over the weekend, in between babysitting.

Ken Armstrong said...

I think if you follow this exercise carefully, you'll end up with 'The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon' by Stephen King.

Only kidding :)

Anonymous said...

I try not to promote my own stuff in comments, but I think it's appropriate here. I wrote a blog post specifically about proof reading *laughs*. I've been a secretary for 20 years, so I've learned a bit about it over the years.

Don't feel bad, after all this time, I still make mistakes like this.