In a series of articles, Jan Moran Neil gives tips for exercises that will give your creative mind a boost
You may be working on an autobiography, a novel, a script or collection of poetry and short stories. So try these short ‘kick start’ exercises:
Your Personal Experience
You have a memory store: a landscape where your past history sits waiting for you to re-discover. Describe that memory store. Is it a memory box or a bag or a place? What colour is it? Is there a fragrance? What sounds can you hear and what is the texture of that store? Are there any tastes from your past you have forgotten and if so, why?
- What is your earliest memory of reading? Who were you with? What were you doing? What were you feeling?
- Repeat this exercise with your earliest memory of speaking.
- And your earliest memory of writing? (Have you made any discoveries about how you react to the spoken or written word?)
- At random, take a photo and an object which belong to you. Find a connection and write about it. A theme should emerge.
- Take one of your past or present pets’ names as a Christian name and your mother’s maiden name as a surname and write a physical description of that person.
- What were you doing five years ago?
- Where do you want to be in five years time?
- List the ten best moments of your life. Where were you and why were they so good?
- List six turning points in your life. Where were you and what did they change about you?
Next time: Novel Ideas and Encouraging Dialogue
Check out Jan’s new play, ‘A President in Waiting …’