Though I managed to get another 1000 words on The Transcendental Man tonight, I spent some time engaged in one of my self styled writing exercises. What I like to do is come up with a list of topics and/or scenes, pick one at least once a week and then write 1000 words on it. I had a list filled with dozens of ideas, but anyone who has been reading this blog over the last month knows what happened to that.
Some of the items on the list were generalized, like "urban vampire attacks couple on way home." Thus, I pounded out 1000 words describing a couple walking home from some event and being stalked by a vampire. Other items were more vague, like "weed moves position from day to day" or "poison eating contest" (which ended up becoming Nuts, one of the two stories I sold to 52 Stitches). Still other ideas on that list were very specific, such as "man and woman argue over relationship, he wants to move faster, she wants to move slower." The purpose of those were so I could practice writing a variety of different scenes, not all of them horror, scifi or fantasy related. Most of the time what I wrote was crap, but I figured the practice would pay off in the long run.
I really need to brainstorm and compile another list. I found that not only was the writing fun, but often times a cool story idea resulted. Tonight's exercise was "empty bathroom/shadow beyond shower curtain" which plays upon the irrational fear I have that there is someone standing right outside the shower whenever I am in there.
Anyone else have things they do to help flex and tone those writing muscles?