Happy Tuesday! Guest author Madelyn Rosenberg joins us for today’s quick-write. Madelyn is the author of the Nanny X books, HOW TO BEHAVE AT A TEA PARTY, and HOW TO BEHAVE AT A DOG SHOW. Her quick-write today is about postcards!
Last summer I came up with a new writing prompt and I had so much fun with it, I did it all summer long. I’m calling it “Postcard.” When I have students do the prompt in a classroom, I pass out index cards. When I’m doing it myself, I just scrawl on a page of my writing notebook.
The rules are simple: Describe the scene around you, using only 10 words or short phrases. Put one word or phrase on each line, so you’re laying it out like a poem. Think about your different senses as you study your scene and write it out. It’s a good way to practice working varied senses into whatever you write. Especially smell – I hate how often we leave out the sense of smell when it is so evocative/linked with memory. I like to include scraps of dialogue in my postcards, too.
You can use this exercise not just to write about the world around you, but to write about a scene in your current work in progress.
A few examples are below. Sometimes it’s more fun to put the title at the end, especially if you’re sharing with others.
Non-greasy UV protection
“Drink or snack?”
“We are experiencing turbulence”
A carpet of clouds
Gingerale and tea
Look for the exit over the wings
Books, kenken, in-flight magazines, barf bags
“Adjust your seatback position”
Map of the world
And here’s one from my daughter:
San Francisco Streetcar
“Three rights make a left”
“Don’t block the exit!”
Slow. Fast. Slow.
Today’s Assignment: Write your postcard! Describe the scene around you, using only 10 words or short phrases. Put one word or phrase on each line, so you’re laying it out like a poem. Think about your different senses as you study your scene and write it out. And feel free to share your ten lines in the comments today!