UPDATE: Check out the new August 2016 Challenge writing page here!
Last night, our warrior writers created a daily writing challenge for August 2016!
Here's how it works: Each day there is a different prompt (created by 8 different writers). You must take that prompt and write at least as many sentences as the day of the challenge.
For example, on Monday, August 1st, the prompt is 3 things that are magical to you. You have to write at least one sentence about this prompt. The following day, you will write at least two sentences about the prompt- a recipe for love! The last day of the challenge, you will have to write at least 31 sentences, but by then you'll be a writing ninja and you'll probably write 31 paragraphs!
Attached are the daily prompts! We have a few extra we came up with that I will put in the comment section below! You can use those if you want to write more on a particular day or if you want to switch out a prompt!
As always feel free to share any pieces you want to put on the blog!
Happy Writing! #writeeverydamnday
1. Think of somwhere you've never been and write about it in first person
2. Try not to speak for an entire day- write about it
3. What childhood belief is holding back your adult self
4. What is the most meaningful thing I've talked about today
5. What's your intention for this week
6. Write about your perfect weather day
The Surat Warrior Writers recently held our second writing retreat in Khanom, Thailand. It was held over Valentine's Day and we decided to call it "Love In Letters." The theme of our retreat was falling in love with your craft, in our case, writing, and many of the activities revolved around letter writing. Below is a list of open-ended letter-writing prompts that we used for a larger movement and writing activity.
For the movement portion of the activity, we went on a 20-minute walk and recorded or took pictures of three things that stuck out to us for any reason as we wandered. We then incorporated those three things into a letter after pulling one of the following prompts. (For an example from Warrior Christine, click here.)
Letter from your writing to you
Bad love letters
Funny Hallmark love letters
Take a love letter and keep rewriting it with different tones
“Poison Pen” Letter (hate mail, usually sent anonymously)
Letter to yourself 10 years ago/15 years ago/20 years ago
Letter to your body
Letter to your passion
Letter to Society
Letter to a parent or a parental figure
Letter of appreciation to your body
Letter to an enemy
Have some letter writing prompt ideas to add to the list? Leave a comment or send us a message through the contact page!
At our most recent retreat this month, we decided to switch things up a bit with a new (to use) small group writing exercise. Each group had a bag of Scrabble tiles (you could also use Bananagrams or Boggle tiles) they they distributed among the group members. We chose to set a timer for 15 minutes and go around the group until the time ran out. The first person played a word, and just like in Scrabble, each person added to the words in play. At the end of the 15 minute period, we wrote down the words we played and used those words to write with. You can choose a genre here (short story or poem), but we left it open ended. It's always fun to see the different pieces that come out of the same words or prompts when writing in a group!
This was our second time doing this group exercise. Begin with one person writing a descriptive passage. The second person rewrites the passage in plain language. The third (without seeing the initial passage) rewrites it descriptively. The pattern continues until everyone has written. Compare the passages and see how they evolve!
(1 - Descriptive)
Like a rocket, Janie came bursting through the plush, green bushes that framed her father's otherwise barren backyard. Tongue hanging out the side of her sweet candy lips, brows clenched in concentration, Janie's doe eyes locked onto her tiny flying target; shaded in hues of gold and blue, the most magnificent monarch butterfly - thick and tangible - danced in the disappearing light. Dusk, damp and impending, wrapped around the summer sky.
(2 - Nondescript)
Janie stood in her father's garden looking at a butterfly.
(3 - Descriptive)
The breeze was cool, but warmer than she'd felt in months. Spring had come late this year, but now the signs were everywhere. The birds, whose singing had woken her up each morning, no longer sounded forlorn. Instead, their chirps brought a notion of hope to her window. This morning, she's followed them outside, walking down the stairs in her slippers and into her father's garden. The patches of snow had almost melted away, and planting would begin in earnest soon. Maybe he would ask her to join this year. She noticed a butterfly flittering from plot to plot and made a wish.
(4 - Nondescript)
There was a cold wind, but it was warmer than the months of winter had been. The birds woke her and she went outside to the garden. The snow was almost gone and it would soon be time to plant again. She hoped her father would ask her to help. She saw a butterfly and made a wish.
(5 - Descriptive)
Light and breezy, the air was cool to the touch. But in comparison to the harsh cold of November and December, it almost brought color back into her pale cheeks. She felt herself flush as the melodious tunes of her winged friends outside her window brought her out of a dreamless slumber. Meandering through the house her pace quickened as she got closer to the garden. The season for planting was quickly approaching, and her anticipation to participate this year was increasing as each day of winter faded away. She desperately wanted to help this year, to show that she was capable and blessed with a green thumb. As the butterfly - blue, iridescent, purple - fluttered onto her shoulder. She closed her eyes, took a deep breath and wished for her father to ask for help. This year. This would be her year!
Thanks to Warriors Christine, Mikey, Cati, Jill and Esther for their writing in this piece!
The last few meetings, we have been working on character development. Some of us had never created a character from scratch, others have but not to their satisfaction. Some have created wonderful characters, but wanted to take them further, round them out fully. So we are playing "get to know your character," more or less. How do you get to know anyone? You ask them questions. Or in this case, you ask questions about them. There are oodles and noodles and tons of lists of questions on the internet if you search for them. Some of them very basic (Is your character a boy or a girl? How old is your character? Where are they?) and some of them are far deeper (Do they talk to themselves when they're alone? Do they like to take baths or shower? Do they have a tick? A pet peeve?)
After a much-needed (for us, anyways!) October break, we are so excited to host our first November meeting tonight. It is promised to be a great opportunity to reunite with our Warrior community, share our news and new writing, or for those of us who took a TRUE break and steered clear of the pen and paper altogether over the holiday, to dust off the cobwebs and reinvigorate ourselves for the months ahead. To help motivate and inspire us to GET WRITING AGAIN, we have compiled a list of specific upcoming writing contests, resources for finding ongoing contests, suggested websites and publications to follow, and other resources that are sure to help get you going. If we learned anything making this list, it's that there are a TON of resources and opportunities out there, if you're willing to find them. So use this list as a jumping off point, and don't be shy: Share your favorite publications, contests, or other resources in the comments below or on our Facebook page. Thank you, and happy writing!
This is a "pass the paper" activity good for medium to large sized groups. Begin with one person writing a short, descriptive passage. (By this ,we mean it is colorful, uses adjectives, appeals to the senses, visual language, etc.) Now, pass the paper to a new person, who will rewrite the passage using very plain language. Fold the paper over so the original passage cannot be seen. The next person will rewrite the passage descriptively, and so on. The activity should begin and end with a descriptively written passage.
We tried this at last week's meeting with only three participants - it worked out really well,and it was fun (as always) to see the differences in our ideas and writing. But with only three people, we could only write a descriptive, non-descriptive, and descriptive passage (as the first writer already knew the original content). So, in that respect, the more people for this activity the better it may be! See how much the passage changes each time it's translated back from non-descriptive to descriptive language.
Here's what we came up with!
This is a longer activity for thinking, writing and discussing that we used at a meeting in August. The activity revolves around the concepts of utopia, dystopia and eutopia - and I'm sure what we have here is only a jumping off point for the many, many things you can do with these topics.
For our meeting, we began by reading a short story about a society run by women and discussing our reactions to the concepts brought up in the writing. We then each wrote separately in response to the following prompt, Populate an Ideal Land (see below). Lastly, we broke into small groups to discuss our ideas, moral dilemmas, dissenting opinions and the like. The possibilities of where you can go with this one are endless, and maybe we will return to it again - but regardless it was a very inspiring and thought-provoking meeting for us!
This exercise was found in a post on Accidental Creative that listed 10 questions that could help you find your voice. We thought one of the questions, found below, would be a great exercise to get us thinking, and possibly even generate some interesting prompts. The question, taken from the article, is this:
This is a remix of pass the paper. In this exercise, each subsequent word must begin with next letter of the alphabet.