Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Playing "Mind Candy"

Try it, it works!
Like most writers and authors, I often hear this question: 

 "Where do your ideas and inspirations come from?"  

For inspiration, I've always found it easier to write about what I know.  

When I'm writing for children, I think of my childhood or my children and grandchildren, and even students from school visits. 

Then, to remind myself of "what I know", so I can start writing, I play a mental game that I call "Mind Candy".  

How to Play Mind Candy:

Take a pencil and paper and make five headings: the five senses. Then list what you like about each of them under its heading.  

When you have several in each column, draw a line across the paper and, under that, list what you dislike about each of them.

The list should be very literal. What tastes, feels, smells, sounds, or looks good, or bad? 

By the time I'm finished with my lists, I usually have several ideas and I can begin to write.

What feels good?

kitten fur; sun on face; velvet; a hug

What feels bad?

mosquito bite (itchy); tangles in my hair; a headache
What smells good?

flowers; perfume; gasoline; cookies baking

What smells bad?

skunk; feet; broccoli; Swiss cheese
What is a good sound?

music; a waterfall; the recess bell; wind chimes

What sounds bad?

fingernails on a chalkboard; baby crying; a bear growling from behind you
What tastes good?

warm cookies; popcorn; hot chocolate; bubble gum

What tastes bad?

medicine; liver; vinegar; sucking on a lemon
What do you like to see?

rainbow; sunrise; sunset; hot air balloon

What do you not like to see?

spiders; a shark fin when you're in the ocean; a house on fire; blood

[You can also use feelings. What feelings make you feel good, or bad?]

Okay, that's how to play "Mind Candy".  Where do your ideas come from for writing?  

“A writer soon learns that easy to read is hard to write.” ~CJ Heck


jim p spencer said...

My nine year old granddaughter wants to write some day. I am going to make sure I pass this hint on to her. What a creative way to start a teaching moment on showing versus telling. Thanks for sharing!

CJ Heck said...

Mind Candy is right from the poetry workshops I run for schools, Jim, and kids come up with even better answers!

I hope you and your granddaughter have fun with it.