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Mine a group’s dynamic for plot

This entry is part 39 of 43 in the series Friday Sprints

Quick scene writing exercise

Groups of people provide potential story starters. We all know a group dynamic starts within minutes. Individuals take on roles and jockey for position. A group can be a terrific catalyst for a scene and start some kind of action, dialogue, or plot trigger.

Take the photograph below. Use it as a starting point for this week’s 5-minute writing prompt. I bet it won’t be long before you start hearing bits of dialogue. Enjoy this visual writing exercise to get you into the story-writing mood.

A few writing tools to start

Novelty fun kitchen timer for fast writing exercises

Hamburger novelty kitchen timer

You don’t need much to get started. A pen, paper, maybe a pencil. For the digitally inclined, it’s as simple as opening a file. Timers are a great way to push yourself to take action. After all, setting a kitchen timer for five minutes isn’t going to kill you, right? Have fun. Dedicate one to your writing exercises. If you don’t have one, don’t worry. The oven timer or a computer app will work as well.

How to start writing

To start, stare at the photo for a minute or two. Then start writing and don’t start. Stay in the scene, in the moment. Allow your imagination to propel you into a scene. Write to the end.

Don’t stop to reread, edit, or question. Head for the middle and capture an end. (Scroll down for the after-writing process.)

Use this visual prompt to write for five minutes

Finished? Read what you’ve written but don’t make any changes. Think about the following questions, then write about the results of your writing exercise.

Read and reflect

  1. What was your first impression when you saw the photograph?
  2. Did you discover a group dynamic?
  3. Did you hear anything? Did dialogue start flowing?
  4. Did you find one person to use as the main character in writing your sprint story?
  5. Does what you wrote have a potential story?
  6. Did you sense any undercurrents?
  7. Could you feel the characters’ emotions enough to write about them?
  8. Do you have a beginning, middle, and an end to a scene?
  9. How did the writing go? Was it easy or difficult?
  10. Did you have any problems? In what way?

That’s it. You can stop now or expand what you’re written. Share your thoughts below, and if you’re still in the writing mode check out the other visual prompts in the series..


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