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Thawing Out: Experiment #1

Experiment #1 --Finding Your Mountain Top

Let's just get right into it. For our first time together, getting our creative storytelling juices revved up may feel somewhat like jumping into a Cuisinart blender. Let's try a few minutes of 'guided imagery" first. I think it will be just the thing to help ease us in a bit.

I took the photo of the mountaintop above in Glacier National Park, Montana, a couple of years ago. I stepped out of our truck and snapped the photo with my cell phone because I could hear the scene whispering to me and I couldn't make out what it was saying exactly, sitting there passively in the truck.

Now, let's use the scene in my photo as a starting point only for us to BEGIN creating a story, separately but at the same time pretty much.

Guiding our creativity begins by our looking at the image above for one minute, then put a towel or something over the screen. Once you do that, try to imagine your own scene. Use my initial image only to make an impression in your brain for about a minute, then start writing for 5 minutes like a crazy person without looking back at my image. This is what they call 'free flow' writing, using what you saw and what it "spoke" or conveyed or suggested to you for a story...or, at the very least, a good beginning for a story.

Okay, Close your eyes. Don't peak. Imagine you're sitting on a mountain top. It may or may not be important to the story to explain where the mountain top is. What is important without question is your describing what you may hear the wind saying to you? What colors feel important to what you may be beginning to mentally capture or envision for a story here? What might be the importance of the elements (that is, elements of the earth, the plants, the sky, and whatever animal life may be present)? How do they intersect? Why might their intersection be important? What are your senses picking up? In other words, what do you smell, see, feel? How might the mental scene you're envisioning serve as a metaphor in your story? Or perhaps, it's the central theme of your story...or something else.

Now, open your eyes and begin free flow writing like a crazy person. Don't stop. Don't analyze. Don't go back and look at my image, just think about yours and write for 5 minutes mainly from the gut.

After 5 minutes, we can go back and think more about what you've written and where it may be leading you for a story. Then you can modify, edit, enhance, etc. I say "we" because I'm going to do this whole creative experiment with you!

Feedback is important. Please know that I'd love, love, LOVE to hear back from you. Email me if you want, and share your mountain top story. I can't wait to hear from you. I promise I'll do the same thing and share back.


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