Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Six word Stories

Today I thought I'd continue with the concise writing aspect and feature something which I greatly enjoy reading. I also think it's a helpful tool in writing. It really teaches you to focus on words in particular and how they fit together. When you are given boundaries, you must work to get around them and create a great piece in spite of or because of.

What I want is six word stories. That's right, six words, one story. They can be a correct sentence, something poetic, anything you want. It can even be six different sentences! It's all up to you. Funny, inciting, crazy, commentary, anything you want can be written. The only boundary is six words. It sounds strict but when you think of everything you can do with six words, all the words in the language... it boggles the mind.

I found sixfix, written by Anantha, to be a clever and interesting blog of six word stories.
Here are some examples from the site:
The pencil died of lead poisoning.
Pythagoras was playing poker with Einstein.
4:53 AM, President. 4:59 AM, Ex-President.

I really enjoyed reading her comical and thought provoking stories. Sometimes the title played a role in the story and she really stretched the possibilities of the six words into something magical.

So please create wonderful stories and search your mind for as many great word combinations as you can to make something truly beautiful!

So until next time, keep writing!

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Rhythm of words

Today I want to talk about my experiences when I write. When I write I feel the balance and rhythm of the sentence. Without proper balance and rhythm, the sentences don't work together and it throws off the entire piece. I know that personally, the rhythm is everything. I write the words in my head and transfer them letter by letter onto the paper like individual notes of a greater symphony. This is why I always to rough drafts on paper instead of electronically. While I hate with a burning passion the arduous paper to computer transfer, it gives me not only the intimacy of my hand to the page, but also the refining and editing that results from me being forced to read the entire piece while I transfer. But this system isn't for everyone. Some people prefer to feel the tapping of the keys and glow of the monitor as they create, they feel closer that way. Others dictate stories to people because their voice is their medium. However you feel comfortable getting the words out, do it. There is no wrong way and you certainly shouldn't let someone you don't know tell you how you should handle something so intimate.

When you first begin writing, i find that taking baby steps is best. Hearing those sentences in your brain is the reason you're putting pen to paper so just get them out, use your pen, keyboard, or whatever other thing you are using to express your story. Never mind if the sentences sound a bit rough together, go where your gut tells you to go, first drafts are for putting ideas on a page. When you are a more experienced writer, the artistry comes into play. Rough drafts are still rough drafts, but now they are more cohesive from practice of taming the thoughts and sentences. This is where the rhythm of the entire piece comes together. This is the real symphony of words and how it is completed. It takes longer to write, but the stream of consciousness on the page has turned into something truly amazing, a ballad of your heart, This is the key to real writing. Find the balance and rhythm and sew together a creation.

Now I'll get to the music in writing. I speak of what I know to be true. When i write I do feel like my words are a rhythm, I do think that writing and music are connected which is why I personally need silence, to be able to hear the rhythm of my own voice. Others, I believe, work differently. Some cherish the chaos in heavy metal while others flourish in the tranquility of classical music. There are those who are inspired by the hum of people or even a conversation between others. Whatever the music, it's an important part of your character and your writing. This is why it is so key to understand the workings of the language. With writing you can stretch the language and really create something totally your own, but you need to hear the rhythm to understand how far you can go.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Concise Writing Exercise

Today I thought I'd assign a great little exercise in sentence structure and creativity. This exercise is called one sentence stories. It's great for people who are a little longwinded or don't have a lot of time.

Now this exercise does sometimes lead to run-on sentences, and while those are not what we are going for, we are sometimes going for ridiculously long sentences that are still sentences and grammatically correct. The sentences don't have to be long though. Some of the best examples are a few words that say so much about a bigger picture.

These sentences can be funny, philosophical, introverted, social, or make you wanting more. Whatever your style, there are many ways to express yourself through one sentence stories.
Here are some examples taken from

I thought I was a Chinese, until I went to China.
-Sam Tan
If my writing career doesn't work out, I'll invent a cereal which is composed of only marshmallows.
It's never like the movies...we pulled the plug and he took two hours to die.
-La De Da
When I arrived at the memorial site, I couldn't think of anything witty or poignant to write, so I just carved 'I miss you' into the telephone pole that killed you and went home.
-Lost theories
Truly admirable friends go with you on frantic and unnecessary detours simply so you can avoid someone you probably should talk to.

Another site which you may find interesting if you enjoy these stories is which is a contest site for one sentence stories. They have lots of really great and interesting one sentence stories to check out and if you like your own story, you can enter! Even if you don't win, You'll be putting something you're proud of out there and that's important.

Before I say goodbye this week, I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! Family can be a great inspiration for writing as can food! As a bonus exercise for this week, try writing a description for the food you'll be eating like a person who makes a menu does. I wouldn't suggest being a food critic, because some moms can hurl a turkey pretty far...
Happy novel writing month and keep writing!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Helpful tips for story creation

To anyone with a creative mind, making up stories is fun and a part of everyday life. I'm not just talking about the stories you write down and read to others, I'm talking about anytime you tell a lie, think about a scenario, and even when you dream. There are those, and I'm sad to admit it, that do not have an imagination. But these people are rare and if you are here, I know you have some imagination!

Now story ideas are easy for some and difficult for others. Look at your experiences and try writing down your dreams. These stories don't have to make any sense whatsoever. This is your paper! You can write about how you were gardening and suddenly a magical gopher whisked you away to Russia where an alien (space) abducted you thinking you were the long dead Catherine the Great! Your story is your story and you shouldn't let some person tell you that it's a bad idea. If you are just writing for fun, you can write about anything you want. Discover a planet, become emperor, make war on bison, insert yourself behind Washington's troops, or even just drive down to Starbucks to people watch. This is your blank template to create a world.

If you have trouble imagining story ideas, don't worry. Maybe you should try a writing prompt or writing down something that really happened to you. At, there are some fantastic and imaginative ideas with hundreds of ideas to jump start story writing. For those of you who want more of a challenge, one site that will give you challenging writing prompts is where you can generate writing prompts through this generator that uses advanced ideas and sometimes requires a literary background. These prompts are not as much story ideas as writing exercises, but for those of you who like to write and know some literary terms, this is a good site.

Three examples from are:
#37-Use the following words in a story: hypocrite, cookie jar, city, telephone.
#121-Start your story with this: "She touched the little box in her pocket and smiled."
#295-In 250 words, write from the point of view of a ball of yarn being chased by a cat.

Three examples from are:
-Experiment with writing in a group, collaborative work: a group writing individually off of each other's work over a long period of time in the same room; a group contributing to the same work, sentence by sentence or line by line; one writer being fed information and ideas while the other writes; writing, leaving instructions for another writer to fill in what you can't describe; compiling a book or work structured by your own language around the writings of others; or a group working and writing off of each other's dream writing.
-Get a group of words, either randomly selected or thought up, then form these words (only) into a piece of writing-whatever the words allow. Let them demand their own form, or, use some words in a predetermined way. Design words.
-The possibilities of synesthesia in relation to language and words: the word and the letter as sensations, colors evoked by letters, sensations caused by the sound of a word as apart from its meaning, etc. And the effect of this phenomenon on you; for example, write in the water, on a moving vehicle.

Three examples that I have come up with for you:
-In five minutes, write about what you would do if you heard the world was going to end by 7:00 pm. Make sure you record what time it is when you are writing this prompt. It can be a list, a state of mind, a poem, an adventure or anything else you can think of.
-Linda has just stolen a diamond worth $5,000,000. How or will she get away, where will she go, how will she get rid of the diamond, will they ever catch her?
-"I watched in amazement as..." Finish the sentence and elaborate on the story.

I hope these were helpful. Remember the importance of not plagiarizing, though fanart(stories written about characters or set in a place from a show, movie, story, etc.) is fine as long as you don't claim ownership of the characters you didn't actually create. Untilour next writing exercise, keep writing! (and happy novel writing month)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

First writing exercise!

So I thought I'd start off with one of my favorite writing exercises (though a bit silly) having to do with alliteration. It's quite easy depending on your vocabulary and fun.

What you do is this- write out every letter of the alphabet vertically down a sheet of paper. Now write a word for every letter.
For example:

Please skip x because there are very very few words beginning in x. I came up with 'Xavier x-rayed xenophobic xebecs.' This is the only sentence I could think of without using the dreaded word xylophone.

You are welcome to use words beginning with other letters, but keep that to a minimum, approximately one to every 4 words at most. The sentences certainly don't have to make any sense whatsoever, so have fun putting together and practicing constructing sentences!

Here are some I came up with using names as my beginning word.

Harold hates having hairy ham harrowing his home while horrid heptagons haggle hasty hillbillies.
Lionel licked lemmings lightly, later letting lemons lay little loose linens laterally.
Patrick piteously put pen to paper and proclaimed putrid peonies park permanent pandas profusely.
Queenie questioned quarreling quails, quickly quelling quacking quitters.

Have a lot of fun with the sentences and let your creative juices flow! This is a great way to get you thinking on your vocabulary, sentence structures, and literary devices.

Please don't use a dictionary, your sentences are always more satisfying and interesting with just the words you have in your brain. Remember to utilize those adverbs, my favorite of all the parts of speech, guaranteed to make any sentence sound better when used correctly.

Until next time, keep writing! (and happy novel writing month)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Hello and 3 basic tips

Hello readers of my blog! Thank you for logging on and checking out my page. I am new to blogging but am not new to writing. Although I am young, I am filled with knowledge, tips, links, and lots of time! Please visit this site to see some of my writings. I may not be experienced, but I think my advantage is that I'm young and ready to learn, so please enjoy the blog. Some quick tips for this week to get you started, basic things (and maybe a little obvious) that every writer should do and follow.

1) Write! For goodness sakes, every chance you get write down a feeling, an observance, a story idea, a crappy poem! I always carry a few notepads and a pen around with me but if that’s not your style, okay. Maybe I’m exaggerating. You don’t have to be writing constantly, but set aside some time maybe once a week and just put pen to paper. I always hated journals, but if that’s your thing do that, if you like poetry, do that, if you just saw a bird write that. An important thing to remember is that you’ll never get better without practice (major duh but seriously).

2) Read! Many people complain about reading when they are writing and say that it influences their 'writing style.' While this may be true, you need to see how an author constructs a sentence, makes their writing flow, uses description. It is always a good idea to study other's writings to better your own. Am I say plagiarize? Certainly not! You should definitely come up with your own style, but seeing other people's can help you better your writing.

3) Share and have people critique your work. I don't mean just your mother who will always love it, but perhaps a brutally honest friend or some other person you know will give you the truth. Make sure you tell them that you want
constructive criticism, because sometimes people just want to make you feel badly. I understand that it feels good to hear 'Marvelous' and 'You will win the Pulitzer for this masterpiece' but a developing writer needs to know what needs improvement. This is not to say that you cannot share it with people who will never say a bad word, but don't steer away from criticism, it is your lifeblood. It's okay if you want to keep your writing bottled up and never share, but it is harder to improve like this.

Those are my basic starting tips! I hope they are helpful and I'll post soon with my first writing exercise.
Until then, keep writing!