I found a book called 642 Things to Write About. That’s a grammatically incorrect title; I don’t care. It is also a book with a lot of white space — lined space, to be accurate. Since it’s a workbook, that’s just fine. This collection was developed by the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto and it contains 642 ideas to start a person writing.
There are many challenges in writing; but facing the blank page or screen is the worst. It’s especially bad when you’ve got that twitchy need to write, and when you sit down in front of the computer or the ruled pad or the journal, nothing emerges. This book is a great treatment for that.
The Writers’ Grotto, whatever that is, came up with 642 writing ideas in a burst of creativity over a twenty-four hour period. There are usually 2 ideas per page, but some pages are divided into quadrants and there are four.
I picked seven examples arbitrarily just to give you the flavor:
- Describe yourself — physically and your personality — as if you were a character in a book.
- Describe five memories –events you remember well. Now take one of them further.
- The moment you knew you were no longer a child.
- Write a scene that begins “Joe was the last person on earth I expected to do that.”
- Pick a person, then ask yourself: What is the hardest choice they ever had to make?
- You’re having lunch with a friend, and they get a call in the middle of the mea. Write just your friend’s part of the conversation.
- Find a map or globe. close your eyes, pick a spot. Write about a person arriving there for the first time.
The book is slightly more expensive than a high-end journal. I got one for a friend. Don’t get one for yourself unless you are actually going to use it (browse through it in the store first or see the examples above.)
It’s a good book to have for a jump-start or a way to collect some writing that you will be able to use later. Remember, after all, that NaNoWriMo is only eight months away. Enjoy!