by Melissa Stoller
During the pandemic, many people have been walking outside as a form of exercise, relaxation, and social activity. Next time you promenade, be mindful and consider your five senses. As you stroll along or dash about, use the writing prompts listed below to help expand your idea journal or current manuscripts. You never know where story ideas and details will be hiding, so be ready to reach out and capture them as you meander throughout your environment.
1. Stop and smell the roses – literally. Follow your nose toward flowers, the smell of freshly-baked donuts in a bakery, or wood burning in a fireplace. What story images come to mind.
2. Notice sight details that might have previously escaped. Peek at the doors in your neighborhood. Stare at vehicles moving by. What landscapes are visible as you walk? Are any animals (pets or wildlife) visible as you walk? Pick one and write a few lines.
3. Touch a few objects in your environment. A leaf, a park bench, a flagpole, the corner of a building, a window pane. Jot down some specific and detailed observations about your chosen object. Now write a setting detail that could be part of a story.
4. What can you taste during your walk? A warm coffee? An ice cream cone? A tall glass of ice water with lemon? Could any of those foods or drinks become part of a story?
5. What do you hear as you move through your area? Birds tweeting, horns blaring, construction banging, children laughing, and more. Add those sounds into a manuscript.
Next time you are ambling outside, use your senses as prompts. Be open to the possibilities, and perhaps you will think of a story idea or add some interesting details to an already existing manuscript. And enjoy the walk!
Melissa Stoller is the author of the chapter book series The Enchanted Snow Globe Collection - Return to Coney Island (Clear Fork Publishing); and the picture books Scarlet’s Magic Paintbrush, Ready, Set, GOrilla!, and Sadie’s Shabbat Stories. (Clear Fork). Melissa is a Blogger and Course Assistant for the Children’s Book Academy, a Regional Ambassador for The Chapter Book Challenge, a volunteer with SCBWI/MetroNY, and a founding member of The Book Meshuggenahs. In other chapters of her life, Melissa has worked as a lawyer, legal writing instructor, freelance writer and editor, and early childhood educator. She lives in New York City with her family, and enjoys theatre, museums, and long beach walks.
We are so excited to be mixing things up at CBA, beginning with some delicious additions to the Blogfish. Meet our awesome new bloggers!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays begin with Clear Fork/Spork editor/art director, & CBA Director Mira Reisberg PhD who is handing her Mondays over to awesome former now trad. pubbed students to widen their audience.
2nd Mondays will feature super smart Melissa Stoller whose career is taking off with several new books.
3rd Mondays will feature Bryan Patrick Avery, published writer, man of mystery, and professional magician among other things.
4th Mondays feature funny Aussie author Sharon Giltrow sharing awesome Aussie books.
And 5th Mondays will feature Libyan American author Koloud Tarapolsi sharing wonderful diverse books.