For anyone looking for an unusual and often surprisingly effective writing prompt, this came from a book of writing exercises I owned years back and it has been time-tested in numerous workshops since.
Unusual Ways of Seeing
I often try to explain to writing workshop classes the concept of the brouillon: That’s the French equivalent of the English “first draft,” except that the French term is related to the verb for “to disorder, to scramble.” I am a brouillon writer, no question. But, you know, sometimes just seeing somebody’s naked process is worth a thousand abstractions. So here, posted for the enrichment of all, are excerpts from Kristin Cashore’s Bitterblue. Here is a process forged from the chaos of writing, longhand, in notebooks…and still arriving at a remarkable finished product.
Fran Wilde’s Cooking the Books Roundtable is now up at Strange Horizons. Along with yours truly there’s Elizabeth Bear, Scott Lynch, and Nalo Hopkinson. Now that you’ve made it through Thanksgiving, we can’t hurt you with food talk anyway. Right?