Creative Writer’s Notebook: Franz Kafka

This week I returned to my writer’s notebook for some more exercises.

First up was practicing writing killer first lines for a project. I can’t claim to have written anything totally killer, but it was fun to try. I decided to work with the idea I’ll be working on in April, as well as writing a line for my November project.

Next was juxtaposition, which was a little harder. This exercise was more about challenging yourself to be paying attention throughout the day and making notes of interesting or weird things. In the midst of my working, sometimes this is hard to do, but definitely something I’d like to practice.

Finally, there were two exercises for writing character descriptions. Each exercise provided a short list of character traits and I wrote them into a description that shows rather than tells. Instead of simply saying a man was tall, divorced and has a bad back, I wove these details into a paragraph that moves the story along (if there was a story, anyway).

These exercises were fun, and give me something to work on for my next projects, both to pay attention during the day and even keep a diary of things that may be useful, as well as making a detailed outline of my characters.

If I make an outline of my characters, I can better weave description into the narrative because I know the important details that I want to include, and I’ll be able to use this in my April project.

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