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JPC Allen Writes

Inspiration for Beginning Writers

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Monday Sparks — Writing Prompts — Inspiration from Family Stories

girlsw-614914_1280I come from a family of storytellers. One way we get to know people is to swap stories. I am fortunate to have been told stories about my great-great grandparents. Such as I have a great-great grandfather who died in the notorious Civil War prisoner of war camp at Andersonville.

So if you are blessed with older family members with long memories and great stories, interview them. Besides preserving family history, you may find literary inspiration.

What inspiration from family stories have you gained?

 

Monday Sparks — Writing Prompts– What’s Your Favorite Time in History?

shipw-1505929_1280I have several favorite time periods, eras I would enjoy researching if I ever turned my attention to historical fiction.

  • Dark Ages and Medieval Europe
  • The Golden Age of Exploration — I did my research paper for my history major on Prince Henry the Navigator of Portugal.
  • Victorian era — Especially Europe, but any location during this time period in which Sherlock Holmes could plausibly appear.
  • Golden Age of Hollywood — Since I love movies from the 1930’s, ’40’s and ’50’s, I’ve already read a lot about the people working in the Hollywood studio system. A mystery set then would be fun to write.

So what’s your favorite?

Mondays Sparks — Writing Prompts

girlw-1346482_1280I am dedicating my blog this May to historical fiction. With that in mind, today’s prompt is about delving into personal history, in the hopes your nonfiction experience might provide fictional inspiration. What is your earliest memory? I find early memories misleading because I imagine events my parents and grandparents told me about and think they are memories.

One memory I am sure of: I was not quiet four year old when my mom had my sister. I remember my parents coming home from the hospital and laying my new sister on the double bed in the front bedroom of our house. I jumped up on the bed and sat beside her to get a look at her. That’s as far as the memory goes, but I know it’s a true memory.

Share your earliest memory in the comments.

Monday Sparks — Writing Prompts

magnifierw-1714172_1280Here is another type of poetry I hadn’t heard of before until I began researching for this month’s theme. Found poetry is poetry pulled together from any source that contains words, like your kid’s hippo report or a cookbook. You simply take the words or phrases and assemble them into a poem. If you use a copyrighted work, be careful you don’t violate the copyright. For more information, read this post on Almost an Author.

I pulled this from my novel The Truth and Other Strangers:

Air still like

A stagnant pond but

Not as refreshing.

Only a few sad notes

From a mourning dove.

Funeral song for a funeral dawn.

Share if inspired!

 

 

 

 

 

Monday Sparks — Writing Prompts

vintagew-1151776_1280I had never heard of tanka, a form of Japanese poetry, until I read this article on Almost an Author. It is a five-line poem, the first three containing the same syllables as haiku: 1st line — five, 2nd line — seven, 3rd line — five. The fourth and fifth lines of a tanka poem each contain seven syllables. The author notes that the themes in tanka are more varied than haiku, which concerns nature. As an exercise, the author recommends write “a haiku first and then” add “the last two lines as reflection on your subject.”

So I’ve tried it with the haiku I posted in last Monday’s Sparks.

In April. the sky

Cries. Out of anger? Sadness?

The earth send flowers.

Now I’ll add two more lines of seven syllables and turn it into a tanka.

All tears are worth their price if

Kindness and compassion grows.

Share your tanka below!

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