hollywouldink

A Morning Friendly Writing Exercise

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This is a very fun and easy exercise that I stole from Neal Dandade that I think is great to do when your mind is still subjected to your subconscious nonsense. Takes approximately 5 minutes, and is great to do over a cup of coffee while you think about the crossword puzzle.  Grab a pen and paper (this exercise is better to do free hand), and try really really hard not to think too much about your answers. Just go with the fucking flow.

First, jot down 3 lists numbered 1 -10.

That done, name the first list of 10 “characters.” That done, write down anything from “nuns” to “squirrels” to “presidents” to “Martin Luther King, Jr.”.

That done, move onto the second list, with you should name “locations.” Name any ten locations, e.g. “‘an aircraft carrier,” “the moon,” or “Domino’s Pizza”).

Lastly with the lists, go down to the third list and name it “activities.” As with the previous two lists, write down any activity. Could be anything from “write a novel,” to “play tennis,” to “use the toilet.”

After you generate the lists, go back and start paring items from each list. Notice that any item in list one can be combined with an item from the other two lists to generate an idea for a scene/short film (“nuns” on “an aircraft carrier” “playing tennis” or “Martin Luther King, Jr.” at “Dominos Pizza” “writing a novel”). I should emphasize here the fact that you can get great ideas by tapping the subconscious, which means not thinking too hard about things and “letting” the mind spill out good fodder.

Good work. Now look at this cute shit.

This baby rat sleeping with a teddy bear.

A different rat, a full grown Dumbo rat who stole the bear. And is shit-eatin’-grin happy about it.

This panda’s butt.

And, of course, a baby chipmunk.

Author: hollywouldink

I'm a visual writer and teacher currently getting my MFA in Writing for the Screen & Stage at Northwestern University. Sarah Lawrence undergrad. Writer for movies, TV, theater, and literature.

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