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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Writing Prompt: Recurring Dream Images

By Marilyn Friedman and Alana Saltz

We had an awesome YA fiction panel last Friday! In case you missed it, we'll share some of the great advice Francesca Lia Block, Lauren Strasnick, and Robin Benway gave us. They agreed that in order to be successful as an author you need to be tenacious and assured us that everyone has their own unique path to publication. The best thing to do is to keep learning, keep writing, and keep submitting. Yes, ma'am, that's what we're going to do!

Speaking of continuing to write and learn, if you're interested in writing your own YA novel, check out our Character Collage class this Saturday. Award-winning author Sherri L. Smith (5 published YA novels, Washington Post Book of Year, ALA Best Books) helps you define your main characters, put them inharrowing situations, and differentiate your dialogue. You'll walk away with a few stellar scenes and a character bible to guide you in making strong plot choices!

For those of you who want to start with a more bite sized writing project, we have a fantastic Flash Fiction course this Sunday, May 5. Award-winning writer and fab teacher Merrill Feitell (Iowa Award for Short Fiction, Glimmer Train) will help you write a terrific short story in 1000 words or less! There’s a huge market for publishing flash fiction right now.

Meet Alana Saltz, WP Event Manager!
And we don't know about you, but we're really excited for our second Writers With Drinks event tomorrow night (Wednesday) at 8pm at the Blind Barber in Culver City. It's a great chance to make new writer friends and network with editors. The Blind Barber will even be offering literary-themed drink and grilled cheese specials just for us!

Below are the latest class offerings, followed by a free writing prompt! We're giving you one last chance to be entered into the March/April contest for a free class. What are you waiting for?

April/May Events:
 Classes Starting May 1 -6:
Other Classes:

Creative Writing/Multi-Genre
Journalism/Web Writing
Writing For Actors

What image shows up in your dreams? A phone sandwich?

Writing Prompt:
Dreams can be a great source of inspiration for your writing. Often, something in a dream can spark an idea for a character, a plot, or even a piece of flash fiction. In honor of our classes this weekend, we're going to help you get started on an idea for your next YA novel or short story.

Make a list of three recurring dream images you have (e.g. a door that is too small for its frame, being on stage in your underwear). Pick one. Now add a sensory detail (smell, taste, sound, touch). Now write for 10 minutes. Start by describing the image and then go into your dream or the dream of your character and make sure to use that sensory detail!

Both Alana and I both have the same recurring dream where we're trying to make a phone call, but something goes wrong, and we can't dial the number. Sometimes the phone doesn't have a keypad, or sometimes we can't get the right numbers to come up. Alana even once had a dream where she tried to make a phone call on a piece of bread. So that's what's she's going to write about!

Write about a recurring dream you've had. Don't forget to share the results of your 10 minute write in the comments of this blog to be entered in the contest for a free class! This is your last chance to enter the March/April contest, and you have until midnight tonight to submit your response. Good luck!

1 comment:

Lauren S said...

That was a lot of fun! Here's what I came up with (unedited, b/c that's more fun!):

The freeway bends and twists before me, too slick and titled for my car. I grasp the wheel, yanking and pulling it, all the while straining to shut out your screams. Left, right, up and down, the car plummets from level to level, screeching tires against wet concrete. As we jump the barrier for the third time, you whisper something in my ear—it’s the reason we’re falling, the reason I’m failing, falling—but I can’t hear you. I can never hear you.

I let go of everything. Of the wheel, of my fear. I allow us to free fall.

The car lands on its side, and though there should be a thunderous crash, a hiss of gas and a cloud of smoke, I see nothing but your face. I pull you out, and you’re still whispering, then screaming, then whispering again. But I can’t hear you—I can never hear you.

As the ground beneath us rumbles, I look up at the labyrinthine freeway. No wonder we fell—it’s upside down, I think—but your eyes tell me the truth: I wasn’t careful. We fell and it was my fault. You cower and I feel the fear return. It will explode, and you will be burned alive. I throw my body over yours, and wait.