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#8--Writing Out of the Box

These lessons, by one of our most consistent FaithWriters' Challenge Champions, should not be missed. So we're making a permanent home for them here.

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Postby glorybee » Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:08 pm

Deconut wrote:My first ten responses to the topic of FIRE:

Fire Fighter
Fire Truck
Bonfire
All consuming fire
Refiner’s Fire
Tongues of fire
House on fire
Job/boss
All fired up
Fire Ants

My out-of the box topic took a lot more thought. I wanted to come up with something that I might actually write about. I settled on:

Fire offered in worship to a foreign god

Kathie Tollifson
Deconut


I loved this, Kathie--because your "homework" really made my point! Your first brainstormed list contained almost entirely ideas that the responders before you came up with--and your "out of the box" idea was completely original.

Yesssssssssssssssss! (I need a little fist-pumping emoticon here!)
Jan Ackerson

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Postby glorybee » Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:11 pm

violin4jesus wrote:My initial ideas:

1. Feeling hot
2. Food that is hot
3. Losing a job
4. House burning down
5. The lake of fire
6. A non-English speaker mispronouncing "tire"

My out-of-the-box idea:
A man contemplating adultery and realizing the consequences (play off of Proverbs 6:27)

I agree with Greghory - it takes me most of the week to try to come up with something out-of-the-box, and sometimes it never comes (which is usually a no-submitting week for me). I struggle with this more than the writing, because once I have a good idea it's not hard to write it.


Leah, I love your OOTB idea. I'm also intrigued by #6--wow, that's unique. I can imagine a whole story built around a misunderstanding like that.
Jan Ackerson

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Postby glorybee » Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:14 pm

Verna wrote:I tried to think of different ideas with fire:

Fire of different, unexpected colors--green, turquoise, blue
Fire of different attributes or effects --cold, healing, protecting
Fire of different consistencies--solid, liquid
Personifications of fire--for example, a fire that got lost; fire as a narrator
Lessons learned from fire


I make free-writing lists when I first see the topic. Sometimes I just google the word or related words to see if I see an idea to branch out from. Then the topic itself consumes my thoughts till an idea strikes (or I have to go searching further for one). Often, I'll think about it before going to sleep (a mistake if I want to go to sleep soon) and I'll have an idea in the night or when I awaken.

I jot down verses to get started that seldom resemble the finished product but contain a germ of idea that I'll use. Then I write and rewrite--counting out meter, checking rhymes, looking for cliches or repeated words. The Thesaurus is my special friend.
I hope this helps someone trying to get started in writing poetry.


Verna, I bolded your ideas because they are simply so outstanding...and they'd work for prose writers, too!
Jan Ackerson

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Postby glorybee » Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:16 pm

Green Leaves wrote:My out-of-the-box suggestion for the topic "Fire":

- fire tornado (once experienced one in the city I lived in)


Carol


Wow, Carol!

What's a fire tornado? Now THAT'S a unique idea!
Jan Ackerson

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Postby Shann » Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:18 pm

Okay! I haven't peeked. Here are my first five words:

Hot

Burn

Hell

Stoves

Blazes


Hopefully my out of the box thought is:

to get excited, to get all fired up

but as I look at it I don't think it's going to be very original the cliche' adding fuel to the fire came up as I read it over, I can do better. How about:

The first storm of the season, as the thunder and lightening sounded scary and looked like fire streaking to earth, which is really aliens in an UFO coming to see how many little girls are hiding under the bed afraid of lightening.

What do you think did I get too weird?
Shann

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Postby srashmi » Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:56 pm

Brainstorm:
wildfire/brushfire
ring of fire
campfire
firefighter
pillar of fire (OT)

Here's my OOTB idea: The fire truck comes to school for an assembly. One of the kinders climbs aboard and hides. The firefighters leave with the child on board the truck. Told from the child's POV.

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Postby glorybee » Mon Mar 08, 2010 8:30 pm

Shann wrote:The first storm of the season, as the thunder and lightening sounded scary and looked like fire streaking to earth, which is really aliens in an UFO coming to see how many little girls are hiding under the bed afraid of lightening.

What do you think did I get too weird?


Maybe a little bit. Written well, this could be good, sort of "close encounters of the 3rd kind"ish.

Got anything OOTB, but a little less weird?
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Postby glorybee » Mon Mar 08, 2010 8:35 pm

srashmi wrote:Here's my OOTB idea: The fire truck comes to school for an assembly. One of the kinders climbs aboard and hides. The firefighters leave with the child on board the truck. Told from the child's POV.


Excellent!

Or (purely personal preference on my part) written from the fire fighter's POV. Or...from the POV of the child but in the voice of a memoir--written when that child is an adult.

I lose patience very quickly with stories written in children's voices; unless they're done well, I feel as if I'm being talked down to. Like I said, that's just me.

That was totally off-topic on my part, wasn't it?
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Postby Shann » Mon Mar 08, 2010 8:37 pm

glorybee wrote:
srashmi wrote:Here's my OOTB idea: The fire truck comes to school for an assembly. One of the kinders climbs aboard and hides. The firefighters leave with the child on board the truck. Told from the child's POV.


Excellent!

Or (purely personal preference on my part) written from the fire fighter's POV. Or...from the POV of the child but in the voice of a memoir--written when that child is an adult.

I lose patience very quickly with stories written in children's voices; unless they're done well, I feel as if I'm being talked down to. Like I said, that's just me.

That was totally off-topic on my part, wasn't it?


I was thinking this would be cool from the firetruck's POV
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Postby Shann » Mon Mar 08, 2010 8:41 pm

glorybee wrote:
Shann wrote:The first storm of the season, as the thunder and lightening sounded scary and looked like fire streaking to earth, which is really aliens in an UFO coming to see how many little girls are hiding under the bed afraid of lightening.

What do you think did I get too weird?


Maybe a little bit. Written well, this could be good, sort of "close encounters of the 3rd kind"ish.

Got anything OOTB, but a little less weird?


It's harder to think OOTB after I've read everyone else's, but I'll try seeing how I'm too weird for you. Story of my life! :shock:

How's this: A family of termites living in a stack of firewood, realizes their home will soon be put in the fire.

I know still too weird, what can I say?
Shann

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Postby glorybee » Mon Mar 08, 2010 8:51 pm

Cute, Shann!
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Postby PamDavis » Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:04 pm

Jan, I came up with a few ideas.


flaming arrows
toasted marshmallows
spark plugs
fumes
charcoals

I see how much this expands opportunities.

Pam
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Postby glorybee » Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:25 pm

Flaming marshmallows...mmmmmmmmmm.
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Postby srashmi » Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:22 pm

glorybee wrote:Or (purely personal preference on my part) written from the fire fighter's POV. Or...from the POV of the child but in the voice of a memoir--written when that child is an adult.

I lose patience very quickly with stories written in children's voices; unless they're done well, I feel as if I'm being talked down to. Like I said, that's just me.

That was totally off-topic on my part, wasn't it?


I guess I was thinking of it being a children's story. Occupational hazard. The memoir POV is a good idea. Hadn't thought of that.

Not off topic. This is a writing class. :wink:

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Postby Ms. Barbie » Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:59 pm

glorybee wrote:
Ms. Barbie wrote:FIRE:


OUT OF THE BOX: Worshipping God around the fire-pit at the beach


Barb, I'm more than a little bit curious about why "my car" is on the list for "fire"!

As for your "out of the box" idea--perhaps. I'm going to go a bit outside of the lesson now, and touch on another of my favorite themes: conflict.

In literary terms, conflict is an essential element of a short story. So...worshiping God around a fire-pit is an awesome thing (I've done it many times myself)...but what can you do with it to add a bit of conflict?

someone with inner hurts who's singing outside but aching inside?

a spark flies out and someone jumps up, whooping, but their enthusiasm is mistaken for fervor?

the firepit is in a homeless camp?

See what I mean?



http://www.faithwriters.com/wc-article- ... p?id=33164

This will describe why I thought of car for the word fire!

Conflict needed for short story... wow! Would that also include devotionals, essays or poems?

I am learning so much from your classes. Thank you for your time and patience.
Barb Culler

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