6 Working from Life

First-rate writers, actors, comedians, painters, and photographers all develop acute observational skills, and so should a writer. From your sharpest observation of whatever strikes you as odd, funny, or strange come patterns and then narratives. To see how easily life-observations can turn into stories, we’re going to make further use of the improvising game CLOSAT. It is a great warm-up exercise at the beginning of a class, and an excellent refresher when minds grow tired. Its title, as you will recall, comes from its observation categories: Characters, Locations, Objects, Situations, Acts, and Themes. From random combinations you can cook up many an imaginative scene or story. The game’s value is that you:

  • Learn to trust ...

Get Developing Story Ideas, 3rd Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.