Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Writer's Camp--Day 2

Thanks to everyone for waiting patiently for this post! I won't share everything we did (because that would be a really long post) but I'll share my favorite parts.

Anyway, here goes Day 2 of my writer's camp!

We started off by sharing our most recent entry in our "Idea Notebooks." An "Idea Notebook" is a notebook that you write in every day for inspiration in your writing. Every morning you write down twenty images or ideas that are in your head. They can be simple, stupid, or make no sense, but the more specific the better. You don't have to like everything you write down (or even understand everything you write down), you just have to have twenty things. Here's an example from my notebook:

1. Chewed and bitten pencil
2. Pulled-out hair
3. Sleepy eyes
4. Melted ice cream
5. Apple computers
6. Ashes
7. Long-forgotten bookshelves
8. Dusty corners
9. Bed-head
10. Untied shoelaces
11. Pile of crumpled papers
12. Free writing
13. OCD
14. Blank pages
15. Tower
16. Burned-out stars
17. Curtain call
18. Imposters
19. Pretzel twists
20. Hunger

My "Idea Notebook" has been extremely helpful. I've found that most everything in my notebook makes for great subjects in poetry.

We then proceeded to talk about "Qualities of Good Writing." We brainstormed as a class to figure out what qualities of good writing we needed for every genre (whether it be contemporary, fantasy, poetry, non-fiction, an essay, or anything else). Here's what we came up with:

1. Focus (meaning you don't jump around from subject to subject without any natural transition).
2. Creativity
3. Originality
4. A good hook
5. Good organization/structure
6. Clarity
7. Flow (this goes along with focus--if you're going to change the subject, change it naturally so it's not jumpy and abrupt).
8. Proper grammar/spelling
9. Good word choice
10. Your purpose or target audience is clear (if you're writing for teens, it has to be clear that what you're writing is for teens. If your purpose is to help people become better writers, then you need to write something that shows that).

I also learned some new words that are good for writers to know:

-Figurative Language = similes, metaphors, and personification
-Cohesion = flow
-Coherence =  unity
-Mechanics = punctuation
-Diction = word choice

We then moved on to poetry. I wrote a poem dedicated to my favorite color (yellow):


Yellow is the sun,
A lemon,
A cat's eyes.
Yellow is the feeling of hello after a
Yellow is happiness,
And true.
Yellow is the color of me and you.
Yellow somehow manages to turn
Sour into
Lemons into lemonade.
Now isn't that neat?
Some might argue that yellow is cruel,
Turning sunshine into sweltering heat.
What a wicked tool.
But the yellow sun shines so we can
Follow the yellow brick road.
The yellow sun makes our smiles brighter
Like friendship or a happy code.
Yellow is the merry kitten who chases butterflies,
But can never catch a single one,
No matter how hard he tries.
Yellow is a happy thing,
Beautiful and true.
Yellow is the word I use to describe me and you.

We did some free writing, too. I wrote a short poem/narrative that eventually expanded into my final project that I shared with everyone. Here is the first stage of the piece (I'll share the final stage in my last post).

The Golden Gate of Promises

A child's black glove lies on a road sign,
Ripped and tattered,
A sign that winter is a thing of the past.
Spring is upon us.
Rejoice the fact that we have a chance.
While behind us may lie a field of broken dreams,
Ahead of us is the Golden Gate of Promises.

Challenge time! :D Write down twenty images or ideas that pop into your head and share them in the comments. I'm curious to find out if anyone starts an "Idea Notebook" after reading this post. ;)

(Psst! I've been doing a lot of posts around the internet lately. Here are the links to them):

"Top Ten Summer Reads"
"The Five-Draft Plan"
"Book Stack Saturday"
"Four Magical Items I'd Love To Own"


Boquinha said...

Great post! I love your yellow poem! It's lovely. I like this line in particular: "Yellow is the feeling of hello after a
Goodbye." I also like the one about the kitten chasing butterflies.

I'm also happy to see that I've read all your posts all over the Internet - it's hard to keep up!

I'll accept the challenge. I don't have an idea notebook per se, but I do have a notebook that I use for my story ideas, character ideas, name ideas, etc. I have loads of ideas - the trick is making myself make time to write often. Okay, here goes:

1. Nose prints on glass
2. A blanket
3. The purple swirl on a seashell
4. Sighing repeatedly
5. Mustache
6. Steel-toe boots
7. Mix tapes
8. Oscillating fan
9. The number "9"
10. Cheese
11. Ornamental stars
12. Donuts
13. Taylor Swift
14. Maids
15. Guitar
16. Gloves
17. A part-time job
18. Interviews
19. Crispy snacks
20. Brown bag book covers

That was fun! :)

Arende de Wit said...

Right, here we go:
1. Hashtag
2. E-mail
3. Crisps
4. A piece of music
5. Writing
6. Someone swimming in the river
7. Ice cream
8. Hot (guess what's the weather like here :P)
9. Fishing
10. Wind
11. High-heels
12. Esperanto
13. Royal baby
14. Italy
15. Beach
16. Class
17. Jewels
18. School
19. Blogging
20. News

Ok, this totally makes NO SENSE, but this were just the things I could think about. You should have a lot of fantasy to do this every. single. morning. ;-)

Connecting to the soul said...

I'll accept the challenge
2) Jar
3) Rose
4) Matchmaker
5) Occupation
6) Card
7) Florist
8) Snack Bar
9) Lake
10) Rainbows
11) A Mobil phone
12) Connection
13) Friendship
14) Inspiration
15) Dreaming
16) Book
17) Coffee cup
18) Calendar
19) Notebook Paper
20) Summer days

That WAS fun


Martina at Adventures in YA Publishing said...

I love so many of the things you have written down, and it is clear you are a poet! The camp sounds wonderful. I can't tell you how much I wish I'd had the opportunity to do something like this at your age!

Rich said...

Umm... Lets see here...
Alaskan Malamute (Dog)
Diamond Sword
Flying cars
Locked chest
Electric bug
Stuffing world

I have no idea were half of those came from... But I always think about Transformers. ALWAYS!!! :P

The Magic Violinist said...

@Boquinha Yeah, that was my favorite line, too. :)

@Martina Thanks! :D It was great!

So many great lists! :D I don't see how any of us will ever be uninspired again!

Dr. Mark said...

That's a pretty eclectic list of words! It's great to see how your mind works. I loved the yellow poem. I'll take the challenge:

1. Cool breeze
2. Feet
3. Music
4. Salt
5. Dogs barking
6. A ringing phone
7. Butterflies in my stomach
8. Books
9. Blank paper
10. An itch I can't scratch
11. Kittens purring
12. The clacking sound of nails on a keyboard
13. Mint
14. Summer sunshine
15. A guitar
16. Muscles twitching
17. Pens, all lined up side by side
18. Sirens blaring
19. A wig
20. A swinging pendulum

The Magic Violinist said...

@Dr. Mark I like the pens all lined up and the swinging pendulum. ;)

Dave Johnson said...

1. Yard trash

2. DUI

3. Broken speaker

4. No answer

5. Dunkin' Donuts

6. Chalk

7. Taillight out

8. Up early

9. Mazeltov!

10. Eric Clapton

11. Thoreau

12. Tom Sawyer

13. Band aids

14. Signature

15. Pesto

16. Pesto

17. A really good pesto

18. Now I'm hungry

19. Pasta with oil and a basil and cilantro pesto

20. Kitchen

Boquinha said...

So, pesto?

And DUI? How do these things pop into your head?