Bob Boone


Writing Ideas

 

September 2012

 

Spend serious time on memory churning activities such as these:

  • Write down the first names of people you know/know of whose first name begins with D.
  • Name as many teachers as you can recall from elementary school. Pick the 3 you can remember the most clearly. What is it that you recall so vividly?
  • Recall a family event such as a wedding, holiday celebration or a birthday party. For each letter of the alphabet write down something specific from the event.
  • What memories do these words trigger: apricot? boots? candy canes? gulls? Slippers? Tent? Hammock? Fingernail? Frogs?
  • What do you remember about your first bike? Fight? Friend? Trip? Time at the emergency room? Victory?

 

Personal narrative; Write a true story about a time that you: (choose one)

  • couldn't stop laughing
  • got lost in a place where no one gets lost
  • decided you didn't want to grow up
  • learned an unexpected lesson

Write this in the first person, present tense.

 

Person letter

Pick someone you remember well, someone you admire. Write a letter to that person telling him/her how you feel.

 

Argument

Convince someone that you are right about something important to you. This could be your definition of a good teacher or a true leader. Assume the person does NOT believe what you do. Prove his/her arguments false.

 

Rant

Get mad about something. Perhaps schools or television. In a loud, uncompromising voice, let the reader know just how and why you are so angry. Try to make this funny.

 

Here is a longer prompt from JOAN'S JUNK SHOP, the follow-up book to MOE'S CAFE.

 

REALLY RIGHT ROOM

Pick a room that, for you is just about perfect. Now answer these questions:

  • What is the room?
  • Why have you spent time in this room?
  • What is one word or phrase that sums up your feelings about this room?
  • Briefly, how is this room laid out?
  • Why do the objects seem to belong?
  • Why do the colors feel right?
  • Are there any sounds?
  • What are the smells?
  • What are your favorite memories of this room?
  • What would not belong in this room? Why?

*Draw a quick sketch of this room, identifying as many objects as possible.

 

Write three 90-word descriptions of this place. Here are some possible approaches:

  • Start with a general statement about why this place means so much. Follow this with proof.
  • Build the description toward one general claim stated in the very last sentence.
  • Use a tour director's voice. ("On your right...on your left...")
  • Write an imaginary conversation between two people who like this room for different reasons.
  • Write a first-person stream of consciousness account of what it's like to be in this room.
  • Write a letter to a friend telling this person why the room has such a special meaning for you.

Pick the approach that you like the best and develop it into a much longer piece.

 

Argument

Convince someone that you are right about something important to you. This could be your definition of a good teacher or a true leader. Assume the person does NOT believe what you do. Prove his/her arguments false.

 

Rant

Get mad about something. Perhaps schools or television. In a loud, uncompromising voice, let the reader know just how and why you are so angry. Try to make this funny.

 

Here is a longer prompt from JOAN'S JUNK SHOP, the follow-up book to MOE'S CAFE.

 

REALLY RIGHT ROOM

Pick a room that, for you is just about perfect. Now answer these questions:

  • What is the room?
  • Why have you spent time in this room?
  • What is one word or phrase that sums up your feelings about this room?
  • Briefly, how is this room laid out?
  • Why do the objects seem to belong?
  • Why do the colors feel right?
  • Are there any sounds?
  • What are the smells?
  • What are your favorite memories of this room?
  • What would not belong in this room? Why?

*Draw a quick sketch of this room, identifying as many objects as possible.

 

Write three 90-word descriptions of this place. Here are some possible approaches:

  • Start with a general statement about why this place means so much. Follow this with proof.
  • Build the description toward one general claim stated in the very last sentence.
  • Use a tour director's voice. ("On your right...on your left...")
  • Write an imaginary conversation between two people who like this room for different reasons.
  • Write a first-person stream of consciousness account of what it's like to be in this room.
  • Write a letter to a friend telling this person why the room has such a special meaning for you.

Pick the approach that you like the best and develop it into a much longer piece.

 


Larson's Lodge:





 

 

 

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