Writing Exercise for Narrative Energy: Juxtaposing Multiple Ways a Character Experiences the World

David Moore's 1994 sculpture Site/Interlude, Musée de Plein Air de Lachine

Site/Interlude by David Moore

In life we constantly shift between different ways of experiencing the world – between inner and outer lives, between doing and thinking, dreaming, remembering, talking, between being (in one’s body) and interacting with people, things. We shift between emotions, between judging, enjoying and complaining, between sensing and moving.

Forcing a character to experience similar rapid shifts disrupts linear thinking, often producing Continue reading

Playing With Words: Sentence Experiments – Writing Exercise

Shadows II by Jaume Plensa MMBA on loan from Georges Marciano

Shadows II by Jaume Plensa
MMBA on loan from Georges Marciano

Nothing perks up a piece of prose – and a writer – more than playing around with sentence structures.

A fun exercise I especially enjoy is to take a sentence that feels totally alien and try to write my own sentence in exactly that same style. Why? To surprise myself. To kick myself out of my same old same old ho-hum sentence habits. To discover new rhythms.

“I’m playing with words” Virginia Woolf

The Exercise Continue reading

Lost Moments Found: Writing the Moment of Waiting

flight to Bella BellaLike everyone else, my life is full of moments of waiting – at the doctor’s or dentist’s, at a bus or train station, for a flight, for my loved ones! Ideal times for writing, right? Not for me. I find it very difficult to write creatively unless I know I have a good long chunk of time ahead when I know I will not be disturbed. This is partly because, I have to admit, it takes me so long to settle down to writing, but also because I need lots of time to lose myself in my story. And how can I let go and sink into the story when I have to watch the time or listen for a flight or train number or for my name to be called? But what a waste of good writing time!

I used to travel a lot for work and couldn’t bear not to use the hours of waiting Continue reading

In the Eye of a Deadline!

IMG_3576In December I print up a one month/one page calendar for the upcoming year. Any time I see a call for submission from a literary journal that I think might be an especially good fit for a story I’m working on, or one that is ‘resting’ in a file, I enter it in the calendar.

I’m a slow writer. It takes me months and sometimes even years to finish a story. I know I’m not going to make most of these deadlines, so why do I bother to keep a record? Continue reading

Beyond Inspiration

“15 Innovative Ways (Big and Small) To Innovate” (The Globe and Mail’s March 2013 Report on Business) looks beyond the ‘flash of inspiration’ to examine how certain companies have managed to stimulate ideas and bring them to successful fruition. Here are just three of the pointers that instantly caught my attention. Continue reading