Wednesday Writing Exercise: List

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?


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