At my weekly writing group, where we gather not to critique each other’s work but just to write, we often cool down with a list. Someone provides a prompt, and for ten minutes or so we just list.
Sometimes the prompt yields the stuff of fiction:
- Imagine a coat. Imagine that coat’s pocket. Now imagine what’s inside that coat pocket.
More often the prompt skews toward the personal:
- Things I shouldn’t waste another second thinking about
- What I learned from you
- Things that people don’t know about me (inspired by the “Twenty-five Things …” Facebook meme that was so popular at the time)
- Best/worst/most memorable holiday gifts
- Your heart’s desire
- Things I haven’t told you (inspired by a poem by Mindy Nettifee)—this one in particular turned out to be really powerful.
I’m meeting with my writing group again tonight—do you have a great idea for a list that I could bring to the table?