This past weekend marked the release of what could be the biggest blockbuster movie of the summer, Transformers: Age of Extinction.
Now, you may not be Michael Bay (if you are Michael Bay, call me, I have an idea for another amazing movie franchise) and you may not make millions of dollars, but there are two things that you can do to transform your writing this week.
A few weeks back I extolled the benefits of reading as they related to improving as a writer. I firmly believe that other than writing itself, reading can be one of the most beneficial practices for those who want to write. Not only does it help you see what works, but it can also drive your creativity. How many times have you been reading a story and been intrigued by a character to the point of thinking “I wonder what would happen to that character if they lived today (or 100 years ago/from now)?” Instead of wondering, use that as a muse, sit down and write that story. Write “Hamlet in High School” or “Harry Potter in Space.” Use the imagination that you have and think of something completely different from the place the character currently lives in.
You can also take a minor character from the story, one that you want to know more about, and write their story. If the book you’re reading is in first person, write a pivotal scene from the perspective of another character. Maybe they remember the action differently or heard slightly different dialog based on their preconceived notions about what was going on.
Use your reading to explore your writing as much as you can.
This may sound like a no-brainer, but in order to change the way you write, you actually need to be sitting down, typing on your computer or putting pen to paper.
You cannot change the way you ride a bike or drive a car by sitting on the couch watching re-runs of M*A*S*H and the same goes for writing. In order to improve your craft, you actually need to do it.
So, as we get into this week, set aside some time to sit down and write. Take your laptop to the library so you won’t be disturbed. Find a story that inspires you and use one of the prompts above to help you get started. The only requirement is to write something, ANYTHING!
Share what works for you in the comments below.
Jonathan Ytreberg is the owner of Best Word Forward, committed to providing the best resume advice and services to clients around the globe.