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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Writing Prompt: Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing

Photo credit: Inspirational Daily
By Marilyn Friedman

Yesterday was  Valentine's Day and love was in the air. Balloons, flower, chocolate, and sticky sweet sentiments permeated the streets. While St. Valentine is best known for watching over lovers, he's also the patron saint of beekeepers, epilepsy, plague, fainting, and traveling, so even if you're single, we hope that you found something to celebrate on V Day. 

Today we are back to regularly scheduled affections and the most masochistic love of all – writing. Fortunately, Writing Pad is here to help take self-torture out of the process, and this week we have some of WP's finest offerings. Saturday, February 16th is bestselling memoirist Brett Paesel's ("Mommies Who Drink", More, Self) one day memoir class True Tales: Writing a Compelling Past. The evening of Sunday the 17th, the ever-popular Taffy Brodesser-Akner is doing You in 1200 Words: Writing the Personal Essay. Taffy has helped an astonishing 25 students get published – and you could be next after this one night class! Also, the five week Fiction Bootcamp with award-winning author Amelia Gray ("AM/PM", "Museum of the Weird", "THREATS", Tin House, McSweeney’s, Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize) is starting on February 27th.

Keep moving full steam ahead on your 2013 writing practice by looking through the fabulous class options below and then scrolling to the bottom of this blog post for your free writing prompt! See you soon.

Note: classes with an asterix (*) will be held at our new, posh Westside location in Westwood!
Hook Ups, Break Ups, And Missed Connections: Writing The Relationship Essay
What Do You Think? Writing the Op-Ed or Cultural Essay*
Getting to "Like": Crafting A Compelling Blog
Query Letter Clinic: Writing The Pitch That Sells Your Story

Playwriting and Writing for Actors
Get Into Character: A Character Monologue Workshop  
The You Show: A Solo Performance Intensive
Storytelling Bootcamp: A Spoken Workout

Punch It Up: Polishing Your TV Pilot (or Spec Script)
Dr. Ed's Development Bootcamp: Crafting Your Webisode Calling Card (1 DAY)*
Dr. Ed's Development Bootcamp: The Ten Page Workout*

I'm going to write about someone tall, dark, and handsome.
You don't know anyone that fits that description, do you? Wink, wink, Mr. Writing Pad.

Writing Prompt:
Make a list of five favorite appealing characteristics that your significant has or the one that got away had (or an imaginary significant other). What does he or she look like, smell like, sound like (e.g. his hands are warm like a steamed washcloth, he has big, flat feet like my father did)? Add one specific thing that person says or does that makes you weak between the knees – maybe it's the way he tucks the loose hair behind your ear or the cutesy nickname she gave you and says with a Southern drawl. Now add something annoying that this person does to the mix (e.g. picks his scabs, refuses to put his laptop in a case).

Now choose this character's favorite restaurant or place to escape and write a scene where you include as many of these following as you can in 10 minutes: a few of the appealing characteristics, the "weak in the knees" saying or behavior, and the annoying characteristic.

Perhaps a boyfriend's inability to stop picking his scabs ruins a romantic dinner at a special restaurant where they blindfolded you during the meal. Maybe the way that she absent-mindlessly hums when she chews lentils is so endearing that your character gets busy in the forest with a woman he met at a silent Vipassana meditation retreat. Have fun with it! When you are done with your ten minute write, post the results in the comments of this blog! 

For 10 minutes: write how a celebration of the perfect love goes wrong or how imperfect goes right. Share the results of your ten minute write in the comments of this blog to be entered in the contest for a free class!

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