Sometimes when I’m at a loss for what to write, maybe I’m not connecting with a character, or maybe I just don’t know what they want to do next. Maybe I’m between projects and want to brainstorm for my next one or get ideas for a new one, I sometimes turn to an exercise created by the wonderful Ron Wodaski over at compuserve.
It’s called the ABC’s. Yea, we didn’t waste time writing a name for it. What you do is take a character or story and go through all the letters of the alphabet. Here’s an example of one of mine.
J is for Jars of jam: (double word point!) Sun glinted off the jars of ruby red preserves. Enough strawberry jam to last a year. Or not. With three men in the house food didn’t last long. Still it was satisfying to see them. She trailed her fingers over the smooth glass and thought of all the ways she provided for her family. It was nice to be needed. Even if it was only for Jars of Jam.
It’s first draft goodness but I found out some things about my characters. I’m a panster not a plotter so I don’t fill out character sheets listing my characters favorite foods or colors. This is writing from the characters pov and helps me find out the story and people. Some of my alphabet created scenes. Some just gave me ideas for themes or emotions.
Do you have any writer’s exercises that get you in the mood for writing or help you get to know the characters and plot?