Today’s lesson was slated to be on Characters, but I can’t seem to get that train on track.
One of the best things I learned early in my writing career was to always have multiple projects going, so when a “virtual wall” went up around one, you just work on another. Sometimes it is easy to turn to another project, but occasionally you need to purge.
It is funny the gremlins that live in a writers mind. I love to write, need to write. On days when I don’t I am like a constipated bear. I growl and heave my weight around until I root out something creative to open the tightly twisted jar of honey. Once I write in any form, I am more suitable for human companionship. So I write malicious.
I turn my frustration toward the recent evil I am fighting. A bookkeeper gone astray, a dog that got in my trash, female chickens crowing at dawn, even a toddler who insists on peeing on my front porch. I take these annoyances out in the written word only. I compose and hand engraved malevolent confrontations. I write epically wicked prose deflecting these occurrences, wishing harm and ill will towards my current offender.
These little exercises, are extremely cathartic. They seem to clear out my Wall, but more importantly soothe the dragon inside. I keep them in a folder in my drawer thick with file cards and back of receipt musings and the virtual ones live in a file marked “Evil Teri”.
These exercise are a hoot to come across later when not in the throws of an ambitious confrontation with my current protagonist (my gardener who left a pile of weeds behind my house). It actually assists as a resource when I am writing foul dialog for my protagonists and nemesis in my material. It is a good practice. Getting me back at the task on hand and distracts the little dragon inside from illuminating her threatening red head so I can get some work done.
Your exercise for today, write the evilest, mean spirited and horrible tale about a current situation that is making your dragon keep you up at night. Know that NO ONE will ever see this, so unleash your malicious Kraken. No plot or outline needed, just state their crime (neighbor won’t use the recycle bins or kids won’t put the laundry in their drawers) and then explain how they will be punished, what steps you will take to rectify this horrible crime and most importantly, insult the offenders.
Have fun, but embrace evil. Then hide it (or send it to me- I would love to meet your diminutive evil twin).