New Writing Prompts: “The Conversation Game” and a common POV exercise…

Here are two New Writing Prompts. The first is a variation of “trigger words” that we’ve looked at before, and the second is a standard POV exercise. But standard doesn’t mean your results will be standard. The key to both of these is to take a brainstorming first approach – especially with the first one…

 1) The Conversation Game…

If you’re ever on a first date or a long car ride or you just want to pass some time while getting to know someone, you might try this “Conversation Game.” You start by naming a trigger word – say, “pizza.” And then each person tells a story of some kind triggered by the word. For me, that story might be from my childhood: when it snowed, me, Mathew Parker, and John Schneller would shovel driveways for money, and as soon as we got enough, we’d walk down to Brother’s Pizza and get a large and some grape soda. That’s a really rich memory for me. Or I might tell about times where I tried to make a pizza and it came out disastrous. Or – oh, just remembered, once when I was unemployed I was supposed to interview to be a Dominoe’s driver. But at the last minute, I decided “no” – so I called the guy. He wasn’t surprised. The key part of that story wouldn’t be Dominoe’s, specifically, but more about that time in my life.

Now… so far this is just like a typical “trigger word” prompt (nothing wrong with that). But the difference, for me, is that if you’re going to play this game for an extended period, a lot of times people’s minds free up a little. If you KNOW you’re going to tell 10 or 15 stories, then you’re not trying to make each one a brilliant novel. Some will be 30 seconds long, some 5 minutes. Or who knows how long?

Try that same approach here. Breeze through these topics the first time around – jot down your ideas however they come out. THEN… go back and see which stories (or poems, or plays) are worth going back to…

  • Places – bus station, baseball field, boiler room
  • Things – pizza,  pen, pain
  • Events – school fair, Seder, sacrifice
  • People – auto mechanic, arrogant person, angel

 2)      Write a story/episode from your life in the POV of someone who…

  • hates you
  • really likes you
  • 2nd person
  • 3rd person
  • Screenplay

If you’re coming to the HCC Creative Writing Club meeting this week (Wednesday at 11am in Don-360) then feel free to try one of these and bring the results to the meeting. If you’re participating on-line, then post your results by “Leaving a Comment” and/or by sending your work to dchampoux@gmail.com – we always like seeing new work…

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