Sunday, January 22, 2017

Massaging the Muse: Exercises in Creativity to Spark Your Imagination and Keep the Ink Flowing


 by Lynne Marie

As writers, we can be likened to fisherman in that we are fishing for ideas. If you find that your writing lake seems to be dried up, or lacking an ample supply of fish to catch and harvest, I challenge you to explore these creative exercises. Then, choose one to develop into a full piece for submission to a magazine or book market. Enjoy the research (it’s the journey) and triple check your facts! Remember to check particular magazine or book market guidelines before submitting.

1.         Write a story in which your protagonist, antagonist or victim is a fisherman (or fisherwoman – a more unusual spin).
2.         Write about a character who is of the zodiac sign Pisces or is an actual fish!
3.         Set your story in a sea town or aquarium anywhere in the world or otherworld.
4.         Rewrite a fishy fable like Aesop’s “The Fisherman and the Little Fish,” the Greek myth about Poseidon or Norwegian folklore like “The Fish Prince.”
5.         Start your story with the words “Something’s fishy in _____.”(Remember, a similar statement didn’t do too badly for Shakespeare’s continued creativity when he said “Something’s rotten in the state of Denmark” in Hamlet!)
6.         Use a fish for your character’s talisman or good luck charm. Have your character go on “fishing expedition” for a particular item of importance in solving the story problem.
7. If you wish to write a non-fiction piece, perhaps write about how some of the newly discovered fish have escaped discovery for ages and consider slanting the piece for children.
8. Write a story in which the foul smell of fish becomes one of the factors that causes your antagonist’s demise.

Remember, you can use any one of these ideas alone or together.

Good luck and enjoy the fishing trip!  

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED in Writers’ Journal, Perlham, MN July/August 2007

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