Writing Exercises

Last night Mr. Savory woke me talking in his sleep.  I was up for a while once I listened to his non-discernible chatter, thinking about everything from what shoes I need for my fall wardrobe, to what to make for dinner tonight, to eventually wondering what I was going to write about today.

I decided I would start some of the writing exercises from a memoir writing book Mr. Savory gave me for my birthday.  I thought I would share the first ones with you.

OneA designated space.  I am lucky; I already have such a place.  As I have mentioned before, it's the kitchen table.  The pumpkin and flowers above are my view this morning. 

TwoA designated time to read.  The authors provide a great list, some of the selections I already have and read years ago.  They suggest setting aside enough time to get through one book a week.  I decided to make it easy and economical for myself, so I went upstairs and grabbed the first memoir I found from the list.  Tender At The Bone was facing out, waiting for me.  Easy.

ThreeA writing circle.  I don't have one yet.  However, I do have a writing partner, or let's just say an editor:  Mr. Savory.  I have yet to reciprocate.

FourA writing schedule.  I do have one.  I cheat sometimes, but for the most part it is two hours a day, Monday to Friday.  If I work ahead, I get a morning off to do something else.  If I fall behind, such as a day spent at jury duty, I have to make up the time.  Blogging counts, as does journal writing.  Uploading a photo or two works as a warm-up and is a good way to get a story started.

FiveFirst lines.  I love this one, and I once wrote about my all-time favorite.  This is two-part:  compile a list of twenty or thirty first lines that grab you; then, make a list from your own work.  I'll leave you today with the first line from Tender At The Bone, just because it is here in front of me.

"This is a true story."

Ms. Reichl warns us.  And recalling some of the stories she has to tell, I can see why she did.