Monday, December 21, 2009

Backseat Driver

In my book, Pumping Your Muse, the Flip Side exercises often take us from one point of view (POV) to another to teach something new about a character or the emerging world developing on the stage of imagination. Sometimes with a simple switch in POV you can find a whole new story, discover a plot thread or learn something different about your character. Today's prompt will take a Flip Side approach to see how new details can come about even in a small space--a car.

Pumping Your Muse Prompt

This prompt takes place in a car. Two characters are necessary, but if you feel more characters are needed feel free to add them. However, the scene will take place in one character's POV times 2.

Driver's POV - Write a short scene from the driver's POV. Show what the driver sees, feels, smells, and oh yes, that irritating "backseat driver" telling them what to do.

Backseat Driver's POV -- Now write the same scene, but write it from the backseat driver's POV.

Add one or more of these elements to make things interesting:

*Cell phone
*Radio talk show
*An emergency

When you done, ask the following:

Which POV makes for the most interesting story?
Did you learn something new about the driver by writing from the backseat driver's POV?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Meaning Behind Dreams

Dreams and the meaning behind dreams can be used in a variety of genres. As a fantasy writer, the interpretation of the dream can be a major part of the plot, but using dreams doesn't have to be restricted to fantasy. Think of the character who sees details in a dream that can help to solve a crime. Today's prompt will help you develop the skill of creating the meaning behind dreams. Use this dream to develop a meaning and tie it to characters in a story.

Pumping Your Muse Prompt

I lay propped on my elbows and looked down at my rounded stomach. The birthing process wasn't foreign to me. My children are grown. I'm passed the age of child bearing. But here I was giving birth. I felt pressure, but not pain. I pushed and gave birth to a baby girl. She weighed 8 pounds 3 oz., but she was 28 inches long! I cradled her in my arms amazed at her the painless birth. She didn't cry, but looked at me with serene eyes as if she could focus on my face. Her smooth skin glowed. My mind searched for her name. I knew I had planned on a name, but couldn't recall it. I couldn't let my friends know I had baby without telling them her name. I brought her to my breast and she suckled hungrily, but she spit up the milk. Again, she didn't cry, but I worried. I fed her again, but again the milk came up in a small puddle on the sheet. Then I remembered her name. Awehena.

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Beyond the Fifth Gate
Pumping Your Muse