Friday, August 31, 2012

Entry # 89 - "Imagine A Beginning"

Today for those of you who write or intend to write, I offer a new challenge for you.    It's an exercise in imagining the beginning of a story or a scene of a story built on a photograph of a moment in time.  Imagine an opening camera angle for the story. Is it going to be a close shot or will the camera move in closer after a long shot of the picture? You can click on the photo and play with moving in closer or out.

Select one of these photos. 

Read the questions. Who sees this scene? Are they leaving or arriving? 
Read everything before you start.

Photo credit - Jan Bowman - Summer 2012
 Your objective is to write for at least 20 minutes without stopping to reread or cross out on this first cut.   Don’t think too hard. Just go with your initial reaction. No need to be clever or critical of what you write for this. 
       JUST get words on a page.

Later you can play with the details, but not at first. No one sees this but you, unless you decide to show someone.  And at this stage of the process why would you do that!   

Photo credit - Jim Wilson - Alaska- August 2012
Get your notes, journal or computer ready.  Close your eyes for about 5 minutes and imagine. Now plan to write for 20 minutes without stopping. Set a timer.
OKAY!  Ready. Set. Go.

Now Stop! Time's up. So how did it go?

Hey Stop, I said. Leave it alone. 

Come back to it in a week. After a week reread and add more details. Then spend 20 minutes at some point  working on a second draft.  Do you have a promising possibility yet? What else happens?  And then what happens after that? 
Photo credit - Alex Dunn - Alaska - August 2012
Today I am revising a story for an August 31, 2012 deadline. So I'll go back to work now and leave you to your writing!      

to send me your thoughts about what you've read and want to share and I'll plan to post it on the first Tuesday of each month.  Here's what you do:
Write a couple of paragraphs if you would like to talk about a book.  Don't worry about being particularly academic.  This is not intended to be a formal review, unless you really long to write one, and in any case - write what you wish from your own impressions and reactions.  

Then send an email to me. I will collect these, edit a bit, if necessary, before posting your comments on the first Tuesday of the month under the title: READERS TALK.

Jan Bowman’s work has appeared in Roanoke Review, Big Muddy, Broadkill Review, Trajectory, Third Wednesday, Minimus, Buffalo Spree (97), Folio, The Potomac Review, Musings, Potato Eyes, and others. She won the 2012 Roanoke Review Prize for Fiction. Her stories have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Best American Short Stories and a story was a finalist in the “So To Speak” Fiction Contest. She is working on two collections of short stories and currently shopping for a publisher for a completed story collection. She has nonfiction work pending publication in Spring 2013 Issues of Trajectory and Pen-in-Hand. She writes a weekly blog of “Reflections” on the writing life and posts regular interviews with writers and publishers.   Learn more at:

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