Because I got such helpful feedback and guidance last time (thanks, SW!) when I asked for help, I figured I'd try it again, this time with less a focus on readings than on writing exercises.
I'm trying to structure each class around some sharing, reading, and writing, and so would like to have a whole bank of writing exercises to rely on as I put together the class schedule.
I have some early ideas, but would really love more of them from any of you who like to write, teach writing, have taken great writing classes, or just have ideas about how to spur good writing, particularly in the genre of creative nonfiction.
Some of what I've come up with so far:
- Try to write a portrait of a person by describing a food, a meal, or an eating experience.
- Try to write a portrait of a place by describing a food, a meal, or an eating experience.
- Look at the food [apple? Oreo cookie? Chex mix?) in front of you]. Write your associations, memories, ideas, descriptions for 3 minutes, based on sight only. Now smell it, and write about that. Now pick it up and move it around in your hands. Write. Now bite into it. Write.
- Spend ten minutes writing a short story based on the title _______. "In Grandma's Kitchen," or "Craving the Food of Childhood" or "The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie I've Ever Had.
- List the contents of your refrigerator (either in your dorm room, or at home) . Choose two or three items and write a story about why they are in your refrigerator.
- Look at the food [again, what options?] in front of you. Describe it from the perspective of a elderly woman whose husband has just died, but do so without mentioning the husband explicitly. Now describe it from the perspective of a new father. Now from the perspective of a chef on his first day on the job out of culinary school.