Thursday, 26 February 2009

Sweetie Jar Exercise

I promised creativity after last week's tutor admin topic, so take a word, any word. Or take about a hundred words. Here are a few from the big list in Creative Writing: the Matrix (Exercise 20: Word Box):
  • additives
  • ballerinas
  • cable
  • diplomas
  • eagle
  • ... zip

Tutor's preparation part is to type, print out and cut up into one-word slips of paper. Fold once or twice and put them in a great big sweetie jar or kitchen canister. Looks especially intriguing if you print out on sheets of different coloured paper.

The fun part -- each student pulls one from the jar, then has to write for 10-15 minutes. You can leave it as freewriting or direct further as to fiction (story, character, dialogue...), feature, whatever.

My favourite solution to the moanie ones who hate the word or feel stuck -- MUST stay with your drawn slip, but instead write:

  • why you hate it/feel stuck, what bothers you
  • about the opposite
  • about anything it makes you think of, any tangent

Try to get those word slips re-deposited in the jar and this makes an ever re-cyclable exercise, that bit of stimulus in your tutor bag of tricks to use whenever needed.

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