Several of the questions from this list were pulled from The School of Arts and Enterprise, re-posted here with edits. The majority of the questions come from my own experience and brainstorming. The hope is to make this a comprehensive and solidly available resource for those writing personal narratives.
How Can I Choose a Personal Narrative Topic?:
Questions to Help You Discover Your Story
The February commerce-oliday (Valentine’s Day) is upon us, and I’ve got a creative nonfiction exercise for you. This is a wonderfully healthy (though challenging) exercise, especially given how often modern people face messages that tell them they are not good enough, that they need something or someone else to make them worthy of love.
Here’s your opportunity for a corrective: Write yourself a love letter, and mean every line.
Write Yourself a Love Letter
Bare-bones description: In this exercise, you will write a love letter addressed to yourself.
What this exercise accomplishes: The goal of this exercise is to help writers view the strength of their own character without apology.
I started TA work on Tuesday for an Honors Intro to Creative Writing course with Dr Laura Hamblin. In the two class periods that have taken place so far, I already have about five items I want to port over as blog entries. We’ll start with this exercise, where you will write a letter to your muse.
A Letter to Your Muse
Bare-bones description: In this exercise, you will write a letter where you ask for your muse’s help and make commitments on what you will do to earn your muse’s favor.
What this exercise accomplishes: The goal of this exercise is to help writers identify what makes them feel creatively in-tune, approach their creative resources proactively, and to accomplish these goals in a creative framework.
Characters easily make or break a story. It’s not about having a “good” or “bad” character; rather, it’s a difference of dimensions. To give your characters that third dimension of presence requires adding layers to who they are—patching sinews of flesh onto their waiting bones.
Okay, that’s a bit morbid. The point is that it’s crucial that you take time to develop your characters. This questionnaire will help you start thinking about your character in a deeper, fleshier way.
It’s 50 questions long (with bonus and sub-questions to boot), so I won’t be saying anything extra after the last question’s been asked. Hop past the break to start the survey.
As you probably know, I’m in the process of creating a series of lessons and exercises that help you improve your ability to work with metaphors. Here are the nine exercises, which I’ll be discussing in greater detail later on.
1: Metaphor Madlibs
What it’s for: Helping people recognize and understand metaphors.
How it works: These three “madlibs” have players supply the objects and verbs. The random selections are then put into famous metaphor-based sayings, a metaphor-rich story, and other metaphor frameworks. Players are able to dissect what makes a metaphor in a simple and enjoyable way.