Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Thunder When the Universe Burps: A Creative Writer-cise

Below is an article (more of a mini writing workshop actually) that could help you jumpstart those creative juices.
And if you want 3 writing *sparks* delivered to you every day for 31 days, check out WriteSparks!(tm) Daily at for info on how to get started -- it's free!

Thunder When the Universe Burps: A Creative Writer-cise
Nature is a wonderful inspiration for any writer. In this mini writing workshop, we'll wax some poetic prose.

First, pick a number from 1 to 7:

1. earthquake
2. sunrise
3. volcanic eruption
4. lightning
5. rainbow
6. thunder
7. hurricane

Next, create 2 lists for the natural phenomenon you chose. Brainstorm for 5-10 minutes for each list.

For List 1, brainstorm for action words associated with the natural phenomenon you picked. For instance, what do you see, hear and feel happening when it thunders?

List 1 (action words):
explode, clap, boom, crack, shatter, burst, break, detonate, bust, shake, reverberate, applause

For List 2, pretend you are seeing/hearing/experiencing the natural phenomenon for the first time. You don't know what could be causing it. What's causing the thunder? List all the reasons you can think of.

List 2 (causes):
avalanche in heaven, a million stomping feet, clouds slapping hard against each other, angels gung-ho on the drums, God drops a giant bowling ball, the sound of ants walking magnified a billion times, universe burping, a giant fist smashing through the firmament

Got your lists together? Now it's time to combine the words and ideas from the lists you generated. Create lines from the combinations. (Note: You do not have to combine exact phrases.)

A million stomping feet shake the heavens.
The sound of ants walking a million times magnified.
Clouds detonate to begin an avalanche in the sky.
God drops His giant bowling ball and strikes.
Clap, applause! The angels are gung-ho on the drums.
A giant fist smashes the horizon.
Break the firmament with the universe's booming burps.
Leave your list for a bit -- an hour, a few hours, a day or so -- and then come back to it and revise. Revise until you're satisfied with the lines and images.

Congratulations, you've just created your first visual poem. If you're up to it, create visual poems for the other 6 natural phenomena.

And here's a suggestion: Gather a group of friends and create your lists together. Collaborate on visual poems. You'll be pleasantly surprised with the images you'll be able to come up together. And if you're a parent, try it with your kids.

Copyright © Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ
About Shery: Shery is the creator of WriteSparks!™- a software that generates over 10 *million* Story Sparkers for Writers. Download WriteSparks!™ Lite for free at

And if you want 3 writing *sparks* delivered to you every day for 31 days, check out WriteSparks!™ Daily HERE for info on how to get started -- it's free :o)
Thank you again for reading. I hope you're having a productive day/night!

1 comment:

  1. Those are some really good suggestions. I'll have to try them with my kids. Thanks for sharing.