Sunday, June 29, 2014

COSCBWI Meeting June 2014: Flexing Those Writing Muscles

This month's COSCBWI Writer Meeting consisted of something oh-so important to writers: writing exercises!  Just as athletes need to train and strengthen their muscles on a regular basis, writers need to keep practicing their craft.  Every writer can benefit from exercises, from newbies to award-winning authors.  Even if a writer is two hundred pages deep into drafting their new novel, small exercises can help keep the creative juices flowing.  (And generate ideas for that next novel!)

Assistant Regional Advisor, Andrea Hall, shared her favorite book of writing exercises with the group called Writing Magic by Gail Carson Levine.  Here are a few prompts we all tried out:

1)  Turn someone you don't like into an animal.  (I may have turned someone I know into a kangaroo...)

2)  Come up with twelve story ideas in five minutes.  (This is perfect for generating ideas for writing marathons like NANOWRIMO!)

3)  A girl without a care in the world is on her way to camp.  List twelve possible disasters that will derail her perfect life.  (Little does she know, the camp counselor is actually a VAMPIRE!  Mwa ha ha!)

4)  Create names for a list of colorful characters--such as a a parrot that speaks seven languages, or a fiddle-playing sprite who lives in a swamp.  (I have a feeling Sir Winston Crackers and Pippy Flipperschnipp would not get along.  Maybe they can find their way into that poor girl's camp-disaster story!  Hmmmmm....)

In addition to being a lot of fun, these types of exercises really flex your creativity.  They are also great sources of inspiration whenever that dreaded "writer's block" rears its ugly head.  There are many books and online resources where you can find prompts that inspire you, so get out there and exercise those creative muscles!

If you want to learn more about COSCBWI, please visit the new website at or "like" the group on Facebook.  I hope to see you at the July meetings!

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