Monday, December 13, 2010

Let me count the ways

Ways to begin:
1.  with a pronoun

2.  with an emotion or sensation word

3.  with a plan or vision (as opposed to an outline or a plot diagram); a sort of metaphorical or actual treasure map

4.  with a complaint, which may be about yourself, someone you know, someone you do not know, or some institution with whom you have a political issue

5. with a mischievous intent (writing about an institution such as a university), which means you are taking it upon yourself to become the avenger not only for real and imagined insults of your own but as a class action suit on behalf of brother and sister humans you sense might have been offended through earlier transactions

6.  with a satirical intent (which means you have to not only make fun by showing the idiocy and egotism of the individual or organization, but as well to show a viable solution)

7. with a question to which you do not know the answer but are attempting in good faith to arrive at a solution, making you the literary equivalent of the pure scientist who investigates for the pleasure (fun) of discovery

8. with a dramatic situation or need for a choice to be made that pushes you at least one hundred eighty degrees away from mere exercise and day's writing/practice time toward going over some boundary or limitation you feel inheres in your present process.  In other words, you must a) push yourself beyond comfort zone into discovery and b) you must do so with sufficient regularity that when you do so again it will seem like fun

9.  with a reaching out to a person, place, concept, or thing with which you have more than a few disagreements, an activity that will allow you to come away with the sense of being able to argue convincingly on behalf of an antagonistic force

10.  with the taking on of a narrative voice of a person or thing you consider to to be your polar opposite, an exercise you must repeat often enough to gain the understanding that you must find ways of supporting all your characters

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