September 10, 2009

What I’m working on, 9-10-2009

Last night I finished brainstorming 19 ideas for TV series pilots. (19 was the goal I had set for myself. 20 just seemed impossible.) Most are in the fantasy/sf/horror area, but the few that aren’t surprised me. Especially one that’s more, um — well, it’s kind of — okay, it’s romance!

Shut up.

I don’t know that I’ll do anything with any of these ideas. It was more in the nature of an exercise. But maybe. If I never write a TV pilot, some of them might make good stories. How do I know which ones? If I began imagining not only a situation but vivid characters, and maybe an episode or two, or even a story arc for a whole season, that’s an idea worth further attention.

My process:

  • I downloaded a word list of nouns, and created a Linux command-line alias… too much detail. I had my computer throw random pairs of nouns at me, and let those spark my thinking.If you’re a Linux user and want to do the same, download a word list of nouns and then run a command (or create an alias) similar to the following:
       shuf -n 2 /home/jdoe/Documents/writing/files/nouns.txt

    This works in Ubuntu, anyway. I don’t know about other Linux distributions, but I think shuf is pretty common.

  • I daydreamed.
  • I browsed news sites, and when something snagged my thoughts, I mind-mapped it.
  • In a couple of instances, I cannibalized old ideas that never came to anything.

July 10, 2009

Writing Exercise: 7 sketches

Filed under: Fiction,Litlets,Prose,Writing — crcb @ 9:49 pm
Tags: , , ,

Seven brief fictions, if they have enough narrative to be called that.

Stray Dog
I hadn’t trimmed my beard or hair for six months. A woman walked up to me on the street and barked in my face — r-r-rarf! arf! — then rejoined her laughing friends.

I had kissed her once in a rose garden.

His father, who had buried both parents and a sister without a tear, cried for hours when his favorite cartoonist died.

Lap Dance
The stripper smells of cotton candy and sweat. She whispers something in your ear. You catch the word “death.”

He went barefoot only in bed and the shower; she danced naked on the balcony. Their friends knew the marriage was doomed, and hung back from the impending carnage.

Finding themselves isolated, they clung to one another. He forced himself to wear sandals without socks. She learned to love the drag of fabric during sex.

Bent Twigs
Despite teaching geology, he still expects limestone to taste like limes.

She had learned to sleep through the gunshots, choppers and sirens of her new neighborhood, but would often lie awake until morning waiting for the next yip from the neighbor’s spaniel.

Losing It
Once, she could name the seven races of ETs, the ten pre-human civilizations, and the nineteen ranks of demons. Her faith wandered off when she forgot to feed it. Now that she was alone again, it came nosing at the door.

September 9, 2008

63 things to write or write about: a change

I’ve changed #19 (in my previous post) from “A nursery rhyme” to “The lyrics to at least 3 songs.” My wife will write the tunes.

Should be a fun collaboration, as long as she realizes every syllable is sacred. 😉

September 8, 2008

63 things to write or write about

I’ve come up with a list of 63 writing topics and/or exercises to keep myself busy. I won’t do them in order, but I plan to do them all.

  1. An insane man, when he dies, leaves an insane corpse
  2. Boxes
  3. Job (as in Patience Of), after the restitution — can double sons and daughters compensate for those lost? If so, what does that say about Job, and about Job’s God?
  4. A satiric character sketch; the subject: me
  5. A panegyric; the subject: me
  6. The natural and the human
  7. A one-act play
  8. A blessing on someone or something
  9. A curse on someone or something
  10. An abstract sound poem
  11. A story that scares me
  12. A novel of at least 50,000 words in November
  13. Oracles, including logic
  14. Stocks of original phrases, in multiple combinations
  15. A literary dinner, like Landor’s Imaginary Conversations
  16. A nonsense narrative poem, metered and rhymed
  17. A 3-dimensional poem (or 4-dimensional, kinetic rather than static)
  18. A form based on the numbers 3, 7 and 9, and incorporating them in the subject matter
  19. A nursery rhyme the lyrics to at least 3 songs
  20. A man who is stuck behind his face, looking out at the world
  21. At least 7 shaped poems
  22. A clown poem
  23. Word art with poetry and collage; at least three examples
  24. An expressionist poem, with expressive punctuation, spelling and grammar
  25. Two cubist writings each in four genres: poetry, fiction, essay, drama; in each genre, one work to be analytic cubism and one synthetic cubism
  26. From point of view of a mythical creature, e.g. a faun, a centaur
  27. An alchemical text
  28. A web app poem (combinatoric renga?)
  29. An automatic or visionary poem, or visionquest poem
  30. A meditation on a sacred text
  31. A poem on a work of art
  32. Shroudsourcing
  33. A scientific law or mathematical axiom: what it means to us, why we legislated it
  34. A poem of at least nine lines, in which each line contains, at minimum, one modifier, one “ing” word, and one “to be” verb
  35. A love poem to someone I’ve never met
  36. Choose a favorite poem; write a counter-poem, expressing an opposing point of view
  37. “Translate” a story from an ancient manuscript, in which passages are lost, illegible, ambiguous or untranslatable
  38. “Discover” 7 to 9 poems in the person of a poet who died at least 300 years ago
  39. At least 3 flash fictions without any element of the fantastic
  40. Write as quickly as possible, without stopping, for one hour
  41. Time, its accelerations, retardations, and varieties: personal, historical, cosmic, clock, spiritual
  42. Write a piece with no helping words – a, of, the, and so on – only substantives and modifiers
  43. Write a piece, then replace all adjectives and adverbs with nouns and verbs
  44. Write a short piece, and expand it by free-associating on each substantive; repeat until the whole piece is at least ten pages long
  45. Write a poem of at least 40 lines; pare it down to no more than three lines, while expressing the same thing
  46. A creation myth
  47. An end of the world myth
  48. A Christmas story
  49. Stream-of-consciousness (but not my consciousness)
  50. Description of a person as a festival or ceremony
  51. Renga prose (narrative?)
  52. Against measure (number, weight & measure)
  53. Professionalism and amateurism
  54. Interiority Complex
  55. The god of leisure
  56. 50 pages about 5 minutes
  57. A prose poem incorporating a drawing (but not a rebus)
  58. An epistolary poem
  59. A sermon, a prayer, and the meditation of an unrepentant sinner
  60. A chance topic, selected by choosing a word at random from a book
  61. After all sex (or would that be “after-all sex”?)
  62. A week of dreams
  63. What happened when I died

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