Like a good Canadian, I’ll begin with the weather. Wow, has it been hot!
And now for the writing.
I’ve been working on a couple of things: one, a journal with writing prompts to guide writers toward a daily writing habit (draft cover below); and two, the last of my business communications books focusing on improving grammar and writing skills. They are both at the ‘nearly there’ stage, so fingers crossed they’re both on Amazon by the end of next week.
I’ve had a good think about my writing. I realized that in my head I’ve been splitting my writing into two categories—non-fiction and joywriting (fiction.) I believed that I had to get the non-fiction finished in order to reward myself with the fiction, as if one was work and the other was pleasure. Well, that thinking was just plain wrong.
I get a lot of joy out of writing and publishing non-fiction. I love that what I do helps people learn to write, or get inspired to write, or helps them become better communicators, or saves teachers from reinventing the wheel when they have to teach Shakespeare for the first time. So, since this all makes me happy, it is now officially joywriting, too. (Okay, well, sometimes it takes me longer than most to see the light, but at least, I finally made it.)
I hope that August’s writing prompts help you find some joywriting, too.
1. Pick one of these groups of random words and use one, some or all of the words in a story or poem.
- Crown, red, stone, door, blade
- Flower, wall, blue, eyes, shell
- Wind, rustle, footsteps, black, shelter
2. Here are some opening sentences to try.
- The town was shrouded in silence
- Mary lied.
- Medicine bottles cluttered the bedside table.
- Hank loved football—and murder.
- For a secret code it was pretty lame, but I got the message.
- The pool was inviting.
3. Maybe one of these titles will inspire a story: Mystery on the Menu, Harry and the Bear, The Mage’s Promise, Half Love, Day’s End, An Ocean View, Yesterday Again, The Convertible
4. Can you imagine a scene to go with one of these short dialogue excerpts?
- That’s the last one.
- Are you sure?
- No, but I sure am hoping.
- Are you sure that belongs to Harry?
- Yes, I’d know that blood anywhere.
- I don’t like flying.
- It’s a bit too late to decide that.
- I don’t like jumping either.
- Also, too late.
- I didn’t know that she liked cats.
- Is that a problem?
- Yes. No. Well, maybe.
- Is Harry home?
- Can you tell me where I can reach him?
- I can, but I won’t.
5. Where would be your favourite place to sleep—your own bed, a four-poster in a Scottish castle, under the starts, on a ship sailing to a special destination, you choose? Why did you choose this location? Answer this question for your character.
6. NaNoWriMo starts in three months. Are you planning to sign up? It’s never too soon to start thinking, planning, and researching for your writing marathon. Set up a file, buy a new journal, grab some paper and think about the kind of story you want to live with for those crazy 30 days in November. I’m signing up this year, so I’d better start following my own advice. Onward!