When I’m on a roll, writing is like watching a movie in my mind’s eye and all I have to do is jot down the details. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does I have to try and make it last as long as I can. It’s easy because it’s all right there in front of me: the setting, characters, dialogue, imagery.
This writing prompt takes this amazing writing sensation literally. Instead of writing from your imagination you’ll be writing from something that’s already been created. This exercise plays with the idea of interpretation and representation, getting you to approach writing in a new way.
Write from a movie
Think of one of your favourite movies and pick a scene that you love. It can be a moment that’s very quiet but loaded with emotion, something that’s action packed – anything that takes your fancy. You don’t have to watch the scene again, but you can if you want to.Now write the scene as if it were a piece of prose. Don’t worry about the fact that the scene and characters you’re writing aren’t ‘yours’ – this is just exploration and fun for yourself, not for overt plagiarism or publication. Here are some things to take into account:
Creative descriptions of the visual surroundings and characters.
Translating dialogue from the aural to the written word.
Characters internal thoughts (this is where you can get imaginative).
When you’re done turning your movie scene into a prose piece, try turning it into a poem. Take the narrative and the descriptions and cut them down to their barest forms (yes, this means killing your darlings) and play with line breaks and structure. Even if you’re ‘not a poet’, have a go anyway; broadening your writing horizons is great for keeping your creativity fresh.
This writing prompt is a bit of fun to get you thinking about texts in new ways, considering how to manipulate them into different forms and seeing how you can accurately write what you see (whether you’re seeing it in real life, in a play or film, or in your mind).