By: Kathleen Pickering
Twice now I’ve enjoyed writing workshops presented by my friend, Heather Graham, where she uses an effective, interactive writing technique employing random words to build story ideas. My first effort resulted in the horror lampoon, “A Zombie Love Story,” which became a short story included with Heather’s and other FRW authors in the Florida Romance Writers e-book anthology, Vampires, Werewolves and Zombies, Oh, My!
Heather’s great method either helps bring new story ideas to life, or move an already stalled story forward. When creating a new story, random nouns describing three people, one place and three adjectives become the cornerstone for a full page of narrative. While we haven’t experimented with moving a current story forward with this technique, I’d suggest choosing three characters from a current story, a site they’d go to, and adjectives best used in the story’s particular theme. Using the first words that come to mind for each category works best.
Let’s test the creative juices. My latest words drawn from Heather’s pool were:
People 1. Alligator Wrestler. 2. Ventriloquist 3. Girl Scout.
Place: an RV.
Adjectives: Crass, Distant, Startled
In the workshop, Heather supplied the lead sentence:
“Blood dripped from the wall . . .”
Just for kicks, take five minutes or less to try your hand at creating the first paragraph (or two) of a story using the above words and Heather’s sentence. I’d be curious to see what you build. I’ll post the paragraphs I crafted from these leads later on in the day. (Fair warning: my son’s birthday is today. I’ll most probably be distracted until evening.)
Best of all, would your results entertain you enough to consider growing them into a story? Enjoy!