Thursday, February 17, 2011

Which Books? A Writing Exercise

Last week Tricia O'Brian at Talespinning had a fabulously interesting post about books. Particularly which books would you choose to read over and over for the rest of your life? (Apparently, it was a YA Highway thing) In this post, I'm taking that to the next level (or just a new level of fun).

Here's what you do:
Pick three books that you can't live without. (And you can't change them)
I'm picking Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, The Giver, and Chronicles of Narnia: The Horse and His Boy.

Got 'em? Good. Now, write down a fun sentence featuring the plot of each. Mine are below.
HPDH: Harry takes on Moldy Voldy in one last epic battle.
TG: In a world where everything and everyone is the same, one boy makes a change.
CNHB: A talking horse and a boy run from their past in the hope of creating a better future.

And mash (yeah, like potatoes):
Harry changes the world from a place of ordinary, with the help of a talking horse, into a place where there is no mold and definitely not a plastic surgery crazed man who calls himself Voldy.

AND the purpose of this was.........
1. It was fun. <--Best reason for anything in my opinion (unless it's illegal and/or you grandmother wouldn't approve of course)
2. I don't know about you, but it opened me up to new ideas. I think a lot of the time we get stuck in the same plot ideas. Bad Guy + Evil Plot + Good Guy = Story. Not that those aren't good, 'cause they are, but sometimes a mash up isn't only fun, but also more interesting. Try instead, Bad Guy + His Girlfriend + He LOVES Her + She Uses Him = Greatest Revenge Plot EVER!

So, whatcha think? Fun? Not fun? Useful? Not Useful? What was yours? I can't wait to read it in the comments!


Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Ha! Thanks for the shout-out and for writing those fun mash-ups. Lately, I found the exercises in Donald Maass's Writing the Breakout Novel workbook have resulted in all kinds of new ideas for my WIP. I highly rec that book.

Catherine Denton said...

Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix, So B. It, and Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer.

#1 Harry must find the mystery object to help him overcome Voldemort.

#2 The daughter of a special needs Mom sets out alone to discover her mother's identity.

#3 A fairy demon-fighter faces her greatest battle fighting a being who can obliterate anything or anyone.

Mash: Harry must find the daughter of the special needs Mom to fight the being who obliterates.

That WAS fun! And helpful.