Writing | Monthly Challenge
A couple years back, a good friend of mine bought me a wonderful book for Christmas in the hopes of inspiring my writing. It was a book called “The Five Minute Writer” an exercise and inspiration book for writers (you can find it here). It is what it says on the tin really, it provides you with a number of exercises that you’ll have five minutes to complete.
From time to time I’ve picked up this book and given it a quick go, and found myself quite enjoying it. Recently I’ve been in a bit of a writers slump, not motivated to write anything. As I want to use 2021 as my year to actually finish one of my writing projects, I thought I’d end the year by doing one of these exercises every day of December to get me in the mood. I won’t publish each day, I’m just combining them in weekly posts to save the trouble. Feel free to join in and let me know what you think…
December 1st – #33. Step into the antagonists shoes and explain their bad behaviour.
Raj lay there in the darkness, embarassed. He had finally got the courage to ask Alex out on a date. Why would she say no? He’d thought to himself, he was fairly good looking, and they already got on well enough. However, he was unfortunate to receive a friendly no in response. She had been nice about it, wanting to stay friends. He could’ve lived with that, if the whole debacle hadn’t been seen by a group of their friends. The titters of fast spreading gossip and poorly stifled laughter still echoed in his head.
To his left his friend Jack was fast asleep. Raj was greatful to Jack, his only friend who didn’t laugh at him when he found out about Alex. Instead he had stayed up with him, late into the night, talking about what had happened, consolling him.
It was in the morning, when their other two friends, Olly & Kyle, repeated the teasing of Raj from the day before. He looked at Jack, betrayed. As much as Jack tried to defend himself, telling Raj that he hadn’t told anyone about their talk the night before, Raj wouldn’t hear it. There was only one way he could get people to stop focusing on him.
With the school trip over and everyone back at school, Raj started to talk. He told Olly & Kyle that Jack had tried to kiss him. The rumour spread round the school like wildfire. Soon enough everyone had forgotten about Raj’s embarassing rejection, instead focusing on Jack’s suspected “gayness”. The only issue Raj now had to deal with, was ignoring the pit of guilt that had buried itself in his stomach.
December 2nd – #20. Mind map the word “money“
December 3rd – #22. Make a list of places where (A random generator chose… a place where I loved)
- Plymouth; a place where love took place to avoid facing my fears of the future
- Rugby; where I had my first love (female), it is also where I thought I found love for the first time (many times)
- Leicester; the moment I understood what it was to love a man, and then many more men afterwards
- London; more exitential, but where I fell in love with what my future could become in that city
- Nottingham; where I currently resied, and where I am wrapped in three years of love for a man I soon will be able to call my husband
December 4th – #3. Form a metaphor for life using a concrete noun (A random generator chose… Bread)
Life is like bread. It starts off as seperate ingredients; flours, butter, yeast, and more. They need to be combined thoroughly and baked to the right temperature to get it looking whole. From there bread can take on all sorts of forms depending on who handles it. There can be different shapes yet the same flavour, equally, it can be the same shape yet different flavours. Honestly, I’ve never been very good with metaphors – I’m sure there is some tenuous link between life and bread, i’m just not in the right frame of mind to connect something which can be toasted and something else that can be abused so easily. I’m sorry to say that I’ve spent the best part of five minutes rambling about life and bread, rather than creating a creative metaphor.
The first of 5 of these that I’m going to do is a lot shorter than the others will be, after all there have only been four days passed so far. Of the above I think that I enjoyed stepping into the shoes of the antagonist, it helped me understand characters I’m writing in other projects. For the others, I don’t think they were really my bag when it came to think in such a small amount of time.
I hope that you enjoy them, and please feel free to give the above exercises a practice for yourself – its pretty fun to get your mind into gear for new/existing ideas.
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