I created '8 Days a Week' for my class who were deep into their own pieces. The writers were in completely individual worlds and stages of their work in hand, and by the 'rules' of novel-in-a-month method should have been writing every day. They should have overcome the blank page freeze syndrome for themselves, as part of the experience, but I softened and provided this emergency escape. The report back from the writers proved this a worthy invention.
It is an envelope for each writer containing 8 slips of paper -- each envelope bearing the student-writer's name. Each slip has a starting phrase or situation, very simple and sketchy to allow for the variables in their work -- I printed out the sheet of them and cut into slips. Each writer got the same slips... but might have drawn them out in any order, and NOT every day. Instructions: to be used Only for Stuckness.
- The phone rings.
(If yours is a period world, then There’s a banging at the door.)
- Your character is bothered by a dream he/she had last night.
- Everytime it rained she…
(Everytime it rains he…)
- Something reminds your character of her/his mother.
Cheat! I will supply the other four next week. Because right now I have to continue my task as editor of the British Haiku Society quarterly newsletter, the brief. Eeeek, on deadline.