Some weeks ago I’d announced a new regular feature for the blog in the form of Fortune Cookie Friday, wherein I’d take particularly memorable fortunes I’d gotten from entirely forgettable cookies and use the former as writing prompts. That was the extent of the concept I’d come up with and the regularity of the endeavor, as those of you who were around when the post first came out are aware, was rather lacking.
The new and improved friday writing prompt will have a better codified set of rules. Giving myself free reign to write about whatever I want has lately led to mostly useless linguistic sculptures, and so, in the interest of getting something readable, the following rules shall apply:
- The piece is to be fiction. I too often use non-fiction as an excuse to journal, and despite the increasing popularity of creative non-fiction I still consider myself a fiction writer foremost. The journal and journal time are for journaling, writing time is for publishable writin’, bygumit!
- Writing time is to be an uninterrupted half hour. Distractions have previously protracted the exercise into an hour or longer endeavor while simultaneously making what I’d written less interesting. Starts and stops work only in Morse-code.
- No editing until the half hour is over. In the interest of generating new ideas I’m not allowed to alter, correct, or reread what I’ve already written until the time is up. Mistakes will happen but I can always correct them in the editing phase.
- The pieces are allowed to suck. The point is to write, not to be perfect. Often mistakes have lead to some of my more interesting plot developments and turns of phrases.
- Pieces are to be done every friday. Not saturday, not every other friday, but every fifth day of the week (yes, I start my weeks on mondays, how terribly provocative to the American calendar companies of me). Given the flexibility I’ve allowed myself, and the reasoning for this exercise, it is both possible and of greatest benefit for me to regularly write.
Those are the rules so far. They may change should I discover any other mechanics for making myself write more and more regularly or if I find (or have suggested to me) anything else that spurs on my creativity. I’m always open to suggestions.
A final point: you are more than welcome to use part or all of my prompt for yourself. While I would like for you to post the fruits of your labors in the comments section, you shouldn’t feel doing so necessary for using this exercise. Do as you’re most comfortable doing.
That’s all for today, return friday for the for the first fabrication of the new, monstrously more serious and masterful Fortune Cookie Friday.