Friday, January 01, 2010

New Year, New Resolutions

I thought I would try something different this year. I thought I would devote more time to writing. In fact, I thought it might be nice to make myself write each and every day. Successful writers, as they say, write every day. It doesn't always matter what is written write, as long as something is written.

I also think 'they' should be shot, but I digress.

I found this wonderful little book by Fred White titled The Daily Writer. In it there are 366 daily writing exercises for the year. They begin on Jan. 1. I will begin on Jan. 1.

[Full disclosure: In theory, I was to begin this exercise on Jan. 1. I wrote notes in the book, but did not commit them to this blog. With the wonderful blog technology I am able to post this on Jan. 1 even though the posting occurred on Jan. 5. So much for resolutions.]

Each day has a theme with an associated explanation as well as an example and a description of the exercise. I will post the theme and exercise here and any explanation should I find it is needed. Then I will post my brilliant writing. Judge for yourself. For those who think this will be all I do, don't worry. I also plan to add other commentary as it hits me. This blog won't be entirely composed of exercises. Perhaps they will be fun. Let's see how far I get...

Exercise One:
Uses of Allegory
Compose an allegory, keeping in mind that each of your characters represents an abstract trait. Give your main character a goal she struggles against powerful obstacles to attain.

Um, what? I am not quite sure I know what allegory is. Hey, Fred White, you couldn't start with something easy like, write your name in all caps? No, allegory. I looked at the explanation and I think I have it. But I am not quite sure. Those who understand allegory, let me know if I understand it.

Fanny stared at the plate of Christmas cookies wondering if she should call them Holiday cookies even though they were in the shapes of Santa Clauses and angels. She had been living in the town of Bigassbastard, New York since her mid-twenties and was anxious to move. In fact, after the new year, she would be relocating to Canoe, Maine. It was a move she anticipated and dreaded in much the way she anticipated and dreaded eating the Christmas cookies. Would the move offer its initial rush to be surpassed by a feeling of lethargy and guilt? Would she then settle for mediocrity and wonder that that was all she had and all she could hope for and then wallow in self-pity for another decade before taking control.

No, this year she would move beyond Bigassbastard and embrace the new possibilities.

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