I was writing about this for my weekly Thursday newsletter and thought I’d share with you all how to Double Your Imagination.
For me, it happened by accident. A friend and I are writing a “book.” We didn’t start out to do that and we have no plans to publish the book. It’s just fun.
It started because I saw a buzzard in a tree across the valley behind out house. I tried to take a picture, but don’t have a camera with a zoom lens. I did, though, mention the buzzard in an email to my friend.
He wrote back five lines. This was the first two:
Once upon a time there was a buzzard named Billy. Billy was one year old but he could fly as high as any other buzzard and could gulp down whatever road kill was provided on the local highways.The last line in that email was:
He tried to bite off a piece but lost his teeth in the hard brittle road kill.I wrote back:
Billy Buzzard stared down at his dentures lying atop the brittle road kill. With a tear in his eye, he cursed Dr. Beaver, who had insisted he needed all his teeth pulled instead of just a retainer for his overbeak. Now what would he eat? He'd be relegated to soup and oatmeal. He was starving and the roadkill was too tough. He looked to the sky and studied the hot sun. Beaver soup, he decided. That would be satisfying.And thus began our back-and-forth story, now at 19 single-spaced pages.
To get rid of your dry spell, try doing this with a friend. The key is to use your imagination and hit send when you’ve left your partner with a bit of a cliff hanger.
Other rules you might want to include are:
Try not to self-edit, except for perhaps spelling.
No editing the other person's writing. This is for fun.
If one of you tires of the exercise, quit.
Don't write expecting the book to ever get published
Have you ever done this kind of writing exercise? Would you?
If your partner takes you someplace you had never considered, jump in and go for it, just like Billy Buzzard did when he was looking for dung beetles in the compost.