Improvisational Writing

Live to Write - Write to Live

I took an improv class in Cambridge this winter. It’s something I’ve wanted to do since 2008, when I did improv during a Master Coach training. Since taking the class, I’ve been using some of the techniques I learned to get more words on the page. Here are two of the ways I’ve incorporated improv into my writing life.

Warm-Ups: Every week, at the beginning of class, we would do a series of game designed to warm us up; to get us out of our heads and into our bodies. I’ve started doing warm-ups at the beginning of my writing sessions. One (silly) warm-up I do is write a word that begins with each letter of the alphabet, relating each word somehow (even tangentially) to the previous word (not all the previous words, just the word before that word).

An example: Apples Bruise Colors Design Elements Forever Granite Houses Invite…

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365 Writing Prompts, Now in French, Spanish, and Indonesian

The Daily Post

In a bid to make The Daily Post‘s writing prompts available to more and more people, we’ve translated our free ebook, 365 Writing Prompts, into French, Spanish, and Indonesian.

Each ebook comes in .pdf, .mobi (Kindle), and .epub (iBook) formats.

365 Invitations à Écrire

.pdf | .mobi | .epub

365 Apuntes Diarios Para Escribir

.pdf | .mobi | .epub

365 Hari Tuntunan Menulis

.pdf | .mobi | .epub

A Tagalog translation of the book is coming soon to our free ebook library.

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An Evening with Edwidge Danticat by Elena Colás

Chicago Literati

The crowd in the Pritzker Auditorium of Harold Washington Library was made up of about equal parts college students and elderly ladies, the two pillars of the public library system. I found myself with a renewed gratitude for both of them by the end of the evening, after listening to Haitian-American author, MacArthur fellow and mother of two, Edwidge Danticat, read from her latest novel and reflect on her writing life thus far. Her conversation was part of the 19th annual StoryWeek, a festival of authors hosted and organized by the Columbia College Creative Writing Department. This week’s theme is “The Power of Words,” and I am happy to report that Danticat is using her extraordinary powers for good.

She called a hearty “bonsoir!” to the audience, many of whom answered back, to her delight.  Fun fact for the reader, the founder of our city was Haitian and to…

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Joshua Lukasik reviews the StoryWeek panel Turning Issues into Stories

Chicago Literati

Sitting onstage in the Cindy Pritzker Auditorium, the host, Johnny Temple, owner of Akashic Books, began the discussion by asking Marlon James and Bernice F. McFadden about the use of historical events in their recent novels. In the case of James’ A Brief History of Seven Killings, the event was the attempted assassination of Bob Marley, and of McFadden’s Gathering Of Waters, the event was the murder of Emmett Till.

It is difficult enough to write a fiction about imagined events, but to recreate a historical event is an intimidating task for a writer. This is why I loved the word ‘issue’ in the title. Everyone knows it’s common definition, but I prefer the archaic definition of ‘outflowing’. An issue or event cannot be simply captured or penned in, but that’s what a writer attempts to achieve.

Temple asked the authors if these events were central in the…

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