Renaming Familiar Tales
This is the thirty-ninth installment of The Curious Creative, weekly 10-minute writing exercises for busy individuals interested in exploring their creativity. For the complete rationale, click here.
Writing prompts are aplenty in how-to-unleash-your-creativity books, and with the Internet, it is so easy to quickly snag a prompt. But there is still something difficult about reading a prompt and then staring at a blank page. That is why my site aims to engage in creative play, doing something a little out-of-the-box or multi-modal, in order to bypass any intimidation that might come from staring at an empty piece of paper.
This week’s exercise has you design the writing prompt yourself by visiting old familiar tales, and it adds a physical element – taking books off a shelf, slapping sticky notes on them, opening to first pages- in hopes that, by engaging yourself in these different ways, the writing will come more easily.
- Go to your bookshelf and pull out 3-4 books you’ve read.
- On sticky notes, write a new title for each book related to its theme (ie, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Entrenched Racism; O Pioneers! – Unforgiving Land; The Joy Luck Club – Mothers Revising their Lives through their Daughters). Slap these sticky notes onto each book.
- Choose one of these invented titles and stick it at the top of a piece of paper.
- As quickly as you can, think of personal connections – a situations or events from your life- and list them on the paper.
- Open the book from which the title came. Copy down the first three words of the first sentence. Begin telling your story from here.
How did you do? Did you feel released from over-thinking when slapping new titles onto old books? Were you able to list 2-3 personal connections to the titles? Did having the first three words written already give you a good jumping off point for your story?
To encourage each other and grow a community of Curious Creatives, sign in from a google account so you can share your creation in the comment box below. Also, if you subscribe to this blog (submit your email address in the "Follow this Site by Email" box to the right), you will get an email update whenever a new exercise is added. Thanks for playing!