Thursday, May 6, 2010

First Time I....

My writing group tried a writing exercise that sounded so simple, maybe too simple. It turned out to be a very productive exercise. The directions were to make a list of 20 Firsts in your life and then make a second list of 20 Lasts in your life. So how does this help a writer?

As I made my List of 20 Firsts, I found all kinds of memories surfacing, and when I read my list, I could see possibilities for creative nonfiction stories in several of the items. A fiction writer might see story possibilites, too. The same goes for the List of 20 Lasts. Now, that might not be the very last time something is done but the last time you had done a particular thing. Like the last time you smoked a cigarette.Or went bowling. Or had a baby. Once again, this list can trigger memories or thoughts that may turn into a story.

I'm going to make my list of 20 Firsts below and see what I come up with this time. Some of them may have been not only the first time, but the only time, too. I hope you'll try a list of your own and see what memories are triggered.

Nancy's List of 20 Firsts

The first time I...

1.  was spanked
2.  gave birth
3.  was a bride
4.  won something
5.  drank alcohol
6.  smoked a cigarette
7.  yelled at my father
8.  read a book
9.  sat in a college classroom
10.  traveled on a wartime troop train
11.  flew in an airplane
12.  went overseas
13.  taught in a grade school classroom
14.  had a paying job other than babysitting
15.  had a boyfriend
16.  got engaged
17.  appeared on TV
18.  sold a story I'd written
19.  was mother of the groom
20.  was mother of the bride

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a great exercise for our writer's group. We need all the help we can get to remember our stories. Thanks!