…………………….. OR MAYBE ON THE LOCAL FERRY
Short stories can teach you how to bring a story alive in a few words. Poetry – how to use creative language. Novels – how to set a scene, how to build a plot. Articles – how to maintain interest. Learn to read as a writer. Notice whether a beginning grabs your attention. What makes you want to read on? What seems not quite right or even clumsy? What makes a piece of writing so absorbing, you nearly miss your stop?
Without staring of course! Try to do it in a non-judgmental way. ‘This is what that woman is like,’ not, ‘The way she speaks to that child! She needs a slap!’
Snatches of conversation, the whine of the engine, the coughs, the sneezes. (Are these small, muffled, and rather delicate, or of a more explosive and generous nature?
Work on a new plot, the opening line of a story or poem, or the next paragraph of your novel. Have silent conversations with your heroine or your antagonist.
5) TAKE OUT YOUR WRITER’S NOTEBOOK
…and make a few quick remarks. Why? Ideas are like helium balloons. Let go of the thread for a moment, and away they go. If something is written down, it’s there in your notebook, ready for the moment you’re in front of your screen again.
I’m working on ‘Five things to do by a pond.’