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?


Lisa said...

I completed this exercise this evening and found it very insightful. I wrote as a mother driving through traffic and a teenager in the back. I used my own experiences with my family for the first part and then tried to think what my daughter would be thinking if she were in the back. Because I tried to make it so personal, I came out with a very unusual outlook at what my children may actually think of me and how I am. According to the backseat driver, I'm too unorganized and uncaring about her and put my other children ahead of her. Is this possible, perhaps. Could I be feeling a little guilty and that is what caused me to write like this, even more so. Thanks for this assignment. I think I will definitely remember this one.

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joni said...

Long time no visit! I just popped in to see what you were up to and sure enough you're still pumping!

I hope I can borrow this for one of my rooms! We've been a little lax in prompts (the season?) and maybe this will jump start the muse into a new year???

Beautiful work, as always birdie.


p.s. is anonymous' comment for real??? ;-)

Anonymous said...

It is remarkable, very useful phrase

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Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Donna Sundblad said...

Hi Lisa,

Sorry it took me so long to get back here. I have another book going through edits for publication this year and it keeps me busier than usual.

As for your "lesson learned" through this prompt, it is not unusual. It's one of those ahha moments that will change your writing...and maybe your life. :)

Thanks for sharing.


Donna Sundblad said...

Hi Joni!

Good to see you here. I'm still pumping, not here as much as I'd like, but have another novel coming out this year (going through edits) called The Inheritance, and another 3/4 written--the sequel to Beyond the Fifth Gate.

Any time you want to borrow one of these prompts, be my guest. They are here to help writers write!


Donna Sundblad said...

Thanks for the compliment Anonymous. The life of a writer is one of growth which is never ending.