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Author Topic: [PROMPT 1] Free Writing  (Read 183 times)

Clinton Litchfield

    (11/30/2017 at 21:14)
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Summer Workshop Prompt #1
Free Writing

free writing   (n.)   —   a prewriting technique in which a person writes continuously for a set period of time without regard to spelling, grammar, or topic.

The dreaded writer's block. We've all experienced it, are currently experiencing it, or will experience it (again). Free writing is a way to get past this: it produces raw, often unusable material, but helps writers overcome blocks of apathy and self-criticism. Some writers often use the technique to collect initial thoughts and ideas on a topic before they begin to write their intended piece.



Your Task

Write a piece of free writing from your character's perspective in the space of five minutes. It's a little meta, but essentially, this task is about getting inside your character's head: you will be writing your character writing their thoughts. Often, the hardest part of free writing is starting, so if you're struggling for a place to begin, pick out a random object or person for your character to use as their prompt, and take it from there. The most important part of this task is that you don't think. Once you're inside your character's headspace, simply write as quickly as you can. Or, as the lovely Arlo Mason put it in Herbology Lesson 3 this term: try to keep your hand moving faster than your mind moves, letting the words go straight from your head to page. Remember that spelling, grammar, and topic are not important. The whole point of this exercise is that it doesn't have to make any sense. The mind never moves in a completely linear direction, and this should be reflected in your (character's!) piece. If you find that you finish in a completely different place to where you started, that's great! Once you've allowed yourself to settle into your character's headspace, set a timer for five minutes and begin writing.

This should be a continuous stream of writing. No backspacing or changing what you've already written! If you get to a point where you don't know what else to write, you can simply write about not knowing what to write or even just a string of nonsense words until another line of thought hits you. Don't feel like you must stick to a certain topic, go with whatever ideas strike you, as long as they're in keeping with your character. Once five minutes are up, stop, even if you're right in the middle of a word. Try not to  spellcheck, or read it through afterwards, or edit anything, no matter how much you may want to. Editing the piece defeats the whole point. Instead, try to just post it as it is. You may be surprised with what you've come up with.

You may write with any character(s) you choose. The site rating and rules do still apply here, so please be mindful of that whilst writing.



How do I start?
three simple steps

1. Start a new thread in the Summer Workshop forum. It should be called Prompt 1: Title of Your Piece
2. Write your piece, following the prompt above.
3. Review the pieces of others (see How To Workshop).

A note for any reviewers of these pieces: be aware that free writing may be incoherent, grammatically incorrect, or generally confusing at times -- that's sort of the point. Please take this into account when providing constructive criticism.




Lots & lots of credit to Tallulah Sloe/Arlo Mason for inspiring this prompt with their wonderful creativity in Herbology Lesson Three.
i see a mansard roof through the trees
i see a salty message written in the eaves
the ground beneath my feet, the hot garbage and concrete
and now the tops of buildings, i can see them too

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