Today is my 50th Write on Wednesday! To celebrate this milestone, this prompt is dedicated to my 9th grade English teacher, Georgia Butler. For many years after graduating from high school and graduating from college with a degree in English, I search for all of my English teachers specifically to tell them how much they inspired me to pursue writing. Ms. Butler left my high school to take a position as a principal in a neighboring town shortly after my 9th grade year. I lost touch with her and was unable to find her. About two weeks ago, I ran into her at the grocery store! She could not believe I recognized her. It has been 30 years since the last time I saw her but, I recognized her immediately. I couldn’t wait to tell her what I was doing and that writing and education is still a huge part of my life and that I now work in higher education.
I have always valued education in all forms but, I have a tremendous amount of respect for those who teach our young children. As with my first Write on Wednesday post I honor a teacher who left a lasting impression on me, but there is also a prompt in line with the them of this post.
Today’s Writing Prompt: Write a Lesson Plan
Teaching takes time, planning, dedication, and effort. It is not a small feat to create a lesson plan. Pick any subject you like. Take into account learning styles, audience, and objectives. This is a great writing exercise to practice something different. It will work every area of your brain.
Like many writers, I plan on finishing a novel. I have been working on one for a while. I have had some articles and short stories published, but I have yet to have a published novel. Many of my friends and acquaintances ask if I have written, or in the process of writing a book. When I tell them I am working on a novel, the next question is “What is it about?”
Years ago attended a writing workshop in my town and sat in a room filled with aspiring authors. When it was time for us to ask questions, one of the attendees raised her hand an asked for tips on getting an agent. Then she went on to tell what her book was about. After about 5 solid minutes of awkward starts, backtracks, and confused faces, she ended with “I have a title. It’s called Saturday Night at the Disco.” Even as I cringed along with everyone else as she bumbled through her attempt to describe her book, I wondered if I could do a better job.
Part of my current job is helping students succeed academically. I help them with time management, study skills, critical thinking, etc. I am often looking for various ways and techniques on how to improve study skills. One method is the Feynman Technique. If you are not familiar with the Feynman Technique, it is essentially explaining something in language simple enough for a young child to understand and, by doing so, you too are gaining a better understanding of the subject. After explaining this technique with several students I realized that this technique is a great way to fill plot holes and confusion in you own work.
If you want to be a published author and plan to go the traditional route of finding an agent, you will have to write a query letter. You will have to be able to sell your book in a few sentences. One way to do this is with the Feynman Technique.
iBourgie’s Guide to Writing your Query Letter Using the Feynman Technique
- Write down your tentative title.
- Write down the plot as if explaining it to an 8-year-old child
- Review what you have written (or if you have an 8-year-old handy, ask them to read it to see if they can follow it. If they cant..
- Look for the confusing parts and clear them up. This may be a great time to also look through your work to see if that confusion exists in it as well.
- Finally, make any adjustments using plain language
I really is that simple. If it is too hard for you to apply this technique, you have a little more work to do. Enjoy the journey!
Today’s Writing Prompt: Write your own history.
I have always wondered about my ancestors. I have been able to go back as far as about five or six generations, but that’s it. I have often been told stories about how I am a decedent of this person or that person, but I never knew if it was true. Maybe my history isn’t as exciting as it has been told to me. The writer in my says it can be as exciting as I make it. Create your own history as you imagine it to be. You can start with your last name. Create an origin and start from there, or it could be a family trait that many of you family members share. Be very creative.
Today’s Writing Prompt: What if…?
Have you ever wondered what your life would be like if you got the man/woman of your dreams, won the lottery, been born with a special talent? For today’s writing prompt write about what that would be like. If you would like a little more of a challenge, write about how having the thing you’ve always wanted made your life worse.
Today’s Writing Prompt: Take the title of the last book you read and come up with another story based on that title.
Get off your iPhone; it’s time to write!
Source: 5 Distraction-Free Writing Tips and Tools
Today’s writing prompt: You wake up next to a lake of fire. There is a man named Virgil standing next to you. He tells you that he knows you did everything you could bu,t you did not make it to heaven. Then he welcomes you to Hell. Try to figure out why you ended up there. Go and explore. In which circle will you remain?
I loved reading Dante’s Inferno, but it scared the heck out of me. This prompt may require a little reading up, but of course, that is always a good thing.