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Last updated June 2018. Updated weekly.
Week 61. March 2018. Writers, get outside this spring and write! Look around at your outdoor environment and try blending some elements into your writing. If getting outside isn't possible for you, imagine a scene in nature, describe the landscape by sight, smell, touch, sound, & taste, and try out these words:
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Week 67. April 2018. Get out your toolboxes and find a good dictionary. In fact, try to use a dictionary in print form and not simply one on the internet. If you don't own a dictionary in print, visit your local public library and use theirs or buy one from a bookstore for your home. This week, we're staying focused on the words--just words and their definitions--as we practice our craft of writing.
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Week 73. May 2018. Summer break! Start writing a summer story during Week 73 of The Nudge. Be imaginative and inventive in pairing elements together for the summer. This season, maybe like no other, is possibly full of spontaneity, languorous days, adventure, and mystical nights. Read some stories that feature summer as inspiration: E.B. White’s “Once More to the Lake” and Eudora Welty’s “Why I Live at the P.O.” Some words to throw in the mix...
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Week 71. May 2018. Writers, we’re making some noise for Week 71 of The Nudge! Find a rhythm in your work. Listen to the sounds of the words and create beats with movement in the work based on how the words sound and work together in meaning. Consider listening to Yusef Komunyakaa recite his poetry and/or the Beat poets and/or reading their work. Be punctilious in the process of playing with word acrobatics and sound compositions. Try these words out...
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Week 64. March 2018. Our publisher asked some of her favorite people to tell her some of their favorite words, and she's included those words in a few weeks of The Nudge. Sometimes, her guests even autograph the notebook. For this week, involve some people in your writing process. Ask them about a favorite place, character, or word, and use their perspective to inform your work’s setting, characters, and/or phrases. Don’t forget to incorporate our words of the week into your writing...this week’s words were either provided or inspired by the publisher's youngest daughter.
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Week 70. May 2018. Let’s look at some awkward but intriguing words. Try working these words into your stories. Do you intentionally draw attention to the awkwardness of the word, or do you find some unique way of making the word fit in? Will attaching these words to a character or place create a fitting partnership and thereby a way to introduce words with which readers might have an aversion or be unfamiliar?
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star anise (Illicium verum)
Week 74. June 2018. We've got a double header in this summer series. To continue the summer story for this week, you must step up to the plate and break your character’s heart. Quickly and swiftly, hit that scene out of the park. Then, maybe a few scenes later, you allow him to have the ultimate moment of redemptive summer magic. Combine many elements in order to create a scene that blends several layers of the character’s life. Perhaps, this is a moment when, as her heart mends, she realizes all the gratitude she has failed to give, but can to those who have been there all along. Or, maybe she finds her summer mojo and the mystical awareness of nature’s presence within everyone. Perhaps, he falls in love again, but this time, he’s smarter about how he gives his love away. Either way, give your character a scene of summer magic that changes his life. Throw these words in for an added challenge...
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Week 66. April 2018. Focus on color and physical form in your writing this week. Consider looking at artwork to help you with inspiration. You might choose to emphasize through minimalism or boldly show color in your work. Use color as a focal point in your descriptions of setting. The absence color can also have a strong effect. Add these words of the week which were either provided or inspired by the publisher's oldest daughter...
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Week 65. March 2018. Try your hand at travel-writing this week. Even if you aren’t traveling, look around your surroundings and see with the eyes of a visitor or the eyes of a child. Change your point of view by sitting down to take photos or moving to a higher vantage point. Take a new road or route that isn't in your usual routine. Use this perspective to inform your writing and use a new angle in your story. Here are some words of the week to throw in the mix. These words were either provided or inspired by Jennifer, a friend.
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Week 62. March 2018. Try using a lucky talisman as inspiration for this week's word games. Consider giving your character a lucky charm or superstition related to an object that she values.
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Week 69. April 2018. Consider words that you associate with a particular time, place, and/or person in your life or your character's life if you are writing fiction. Give some repetitive and particular words to a minor character in a story, or perhaps your minor character uses a word/phrase in a way that is unique, or you might consider giving your character a particular way of using a word during a specific period in her life, or maybe she uses a word or phrase for a short time and then abandons it like a fad or a group of friends that lasts only for a season, even if they are influential. Here are some words to try on for size...
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Week 63. March 2018. Make forces collide for this writing prompt. Blend the lives of your characters. Try creating two or three new character sketches and then allow them to meet and see what new plot twists you can create for your writing, or maybe the characters will prompt a new style from you. While you're at it, here are some words to throw in the mix--
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Week 68. April 2018. Are there words that you like to use simply because you enjoy the way that they sound? Do you shy away from speaking some words also due to their sounds? Try using our words of the week that we chose based on how pleasing and unique the words sound to us, and/or play around with some words that you don't use very often but that sound interesting to you.
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Week 72. May 2018. Create a scene in which your main character tells a story to a minor character. This could be a story about herself or off topic from personal revelation altogether, but use the storytelling moment to reveal your primary character's ability (or inability) to tell a story to someone else. How do they tell a story? What does she give away to the listener too quickly, or does she go on and on until the listener is so bored that he realizes there is no point to the story, etc.? Does your main character exaggerate? Is he too modest when talking about his personal past and accomplishments? Does he tell stories to strangers that he meets, say, on an airplane or in an uber? Remember, interestingly, in this scene, you are now telling two or more stories by creating this type of situation in your overall story. For an added bonus, try to fit these words into the story...
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