Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Stretching Your Writerly Brain!

After the success of our first retreat, the FNC is gearing up to retreat again this November.

Some of us will be working on our books up until that point, and will be using the weekend to give a really big push to our manuscripts.

Some of us may or may not have opened up our WIP in over three months. Yes, that someone would be me. It turns out carrying a nine pound baby, then giving birth to a nine pound baby, then caring for a nine pound (now 2 month old!) baby is A LOT of work! Which means not a whole lot of time to dedicate to writing.
Here is a gratuitous picture of the adorable guy who has taken up all my time.

Now that the littlest critiquer is a bit older and has developed a reasonably predictable routine, I've decided it's time to sit down and start writing again. But you know what I realized?



So to jumpstart things, I've decided to try to do one writing exercise a week to get me thinking about my book again. If that means I also write before November, awesome! If not, that's okay--at least I'll have a better mindset going into our retreat.

The other ladies of the FNC will also be exercising with me, since you can never think too much about books!

And now, here's your chance to exercise right along with us. Every week we'll post the writing exercise we've emailed out to each other. Take it, use it, love it, tell us about it! Share in the comments your example, if it worked for you, if it didn't, or if there's another exercise that really helps you out with your writing.


Here we go:

Our first prompt is taken form the book, What If: Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers by Anne Bernays and Pamela Painter. This is one I used to do all the time in high school when I had a new idea for a story. It's a long one! I always edit/omit these categories depending on what I'm working on--for example, my story is fantasy and I've created my own world, so I won't be using the astrological sign category because they don't exist in my book.

This is perfect for a character that needs fleshing out, that you need a new perspective on, or need to get into the mind of again. I think this exercise also works well for double-checking your characters for authenticity. Sure, you think you've got it all figured out, but if you can't talk about them like real people, then they won't feel real to the reader.

Fill in the blanks for a character of your choice:

1) Name:
2) Nicknames?
3) Sex:
4) Age:
5) Appearance:
6) Education:
7) Job:
8) Status/Money:
9) Marital Status:
10) Family, ethnicity:
11) Accent/Diction:
12) Relationships:
13) Hobbies:
14) Obsessions:
15) Beliefs:
16) Ambitions:
17) Religion:
18) Superstitions:
19) Fears:
20) Flaws:
21) Strengths:
22) Pets:
23) Taste in books, music, etc.:
24) Favorite foods:
25) Handwriting:
26) Astrological Sign:
27) Talents:


  1. This sounds great! I'll definitely participate in the writing exercises. :) I've been meaning on going on a writing retreat--can you guys share how you planned it/what you do on the retreat/where good places to go are?


    1. Hey Britney! Yay, so glad you'll be doing the exercises with us! Donna actually has a whole post on retreat planning here if you're interested. http://www.firstnovelsclub.com/2012/02/how-to-plan-affordable-writing-retreat.html


Thanks so much for reading our blog, and we really appreciate you taking the time to comment! We read every one, and we try to respond to all of them via email/comment.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...