Today I feel like all of that combined after a great weekend with some of my writing pals. We rented a cottage on a lake for our own writer's retreat and had a blast: great conversation, great food, great lakeside walks, and of course a lot of time for writing, sharing, and reflecting. To wrap up, we did a couple writing exercises together, including one where we each selected a word from a pile of note cards with words and definitions written on them.
The point of the exercise is to start writing a scene. You begin by listing synonyms or phrases that the word makes you think of and as soon as one of those sparks an idea, you start writing the scene. Of course, as with all writing, glorious accidents (aka complete tangents) are fine. The goal is to write. (If you are the kind of person who could list synonyms forever, set yourself a two minute timer and take the last word you wrote when it goes off.)
Mosaic. It was her favorite art form. All these little pieces. Shards, even. Broken, yet still. Just a little bit of glazed shine. A sparkle when the light caught the fragment of glass just right. And even the pieces that were plain Jane. When the picture came together, it wouldn't work without them. Life needed all kinds, all sizes, all colors, all together. She could see it finished in her head, knew it might change along the way, but it would be beautiful. In the end it would be beautiful.
Is this a new story? A character in a novel I'm already writing? I don't know yet, but I'm excited to write more. I think this would be a great exercise to try with "quote" cards, too. (Yes, I'm a wordaholic AND I have a quote fetish.) One to start you off?
Here's to exercising the writing muscles. :-)