Monday, 27 April 2020

Stay at Home Lit Festival Fringe 27 April 2020

Thanks for joining me this morning at the #stayathomefringe Morning Workout.

Here are the prompts I used today.

Ideas are a tricky kettle of fish. Some writers like to lay traps for them and surprise them at dawn. Others go hunting at night with sharpened pencils and alcohol. But ideas are not always on the run: sometimes, they chase you, and ambush you at surprising moments: they hide in atmospheric pieces of music, in beautiful pictures, and childhood memories. They can be particularly troublesome at night when they have been known to disturb the sleep of unwary writers. To protect yourself from such nocturnal encounters always keep a pen and notebook by your bed: this almost certainly guarantees that no ideas will ever come to you at night.
-Helen Newell
(The road to somewhere: A creative writing companion)

Prompt 1:
List 10 items/Objects that come to your mind.
Now choose a few of these items that could be inside your character’s handbag/backpack. What
observations can you make of this character?
Write 250 words, describing this character, including some of the items listed above, in a situation
where he/she is preparing to go out to meet somebody.

Prompt 2

In fiction, however, dialogue is one of the main characterisation tools at the writer’s disposal. I would say it is the main function. So I see dialogue as an adjunct of characterisation, not plot. It does of course have a lesser function, that of dramatisation, moving the plot forward.  Invariable, if a writer uses dialogue purely as a conveyor of information, it sounds clunky, and inorganic.’
- Character, characterisation, Dialogue and Language, Tobias Hill from Short Circuit – A guide to the Art of the Short Story ed. Vanessa Gebbie

Write a scene of about 200 words, where the character's feelings change from the first to the second expression given in the following:

Prompt 3
Your Childhood Bed
Think about your childhood bed. Make a few notes describing the bed. Use your senses to describe what it looked like. What it smelled like. What it felt like etc
(Note: It doesn’t have to be your own childhood bed. But it needs to be a bed from the past. Perhaps a bed you slept in at your grandparents, or at boarding school, or at the summer Guide camp, hospital etc
Then move your focus to the room. Write short notes about the room. It needs to correspond to the bed you have chosen in the earlier exercise. Make quick notes about the room. 
Think about the quality of the light, the details of your setting, the colours, smells, sounds of the place you describe.

Take this scene and compose it following the pattern: 
Long Shot – Middle Shot – Close Up.
Now take the same scene, but compose it inverting the order of the presentation: Close Up – Middle Shot – Long Shot. (You can use different images.) 
How does the order of the presentation change or affect the mood. Which order was more effective for what you tried to achieve, which was easier to use? 

Hope you found these prompts helpful... Enjoy the rest of the festival and keep in touch :)


  1. Sorry I missed it. Super helpful prompts...would luv to try my hand at writing

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