Writing from the head

As Chuck Palahniuk said, bringing facts and knowledge into a piece gives you or your narrator authority and believability and helps the reader trust you. Once they trust you, you can do all kinds of weird things and your reader will follow you anywhere! 

Exercise #13:

  1. Choose a real subject you are interested in or obsessed with. It could be a person, an historical event, a scientific concept or a place. Some good examples might be “Leonardo DaVinci, Chernoybl, the war in Iraq, the life cycles of butterflies, tornadoes, the international space station, how Oxbow lakes form, Saturn’s rings or cats.”
  2. Spend five minutes finding as many interesting facts about your chosen subject as you can and jot them down.
  3. Now, look at the emotion wheel below and choose one of the emotions. Once you’ve picked one, then choose its counterpart on the opposite of the wheel.

For example, if you choose love, remorse would be the second emotion. If you chose, terror, the opposite would be rage.

Emotion Wheel.png

Now you have two emotions, write a story or poem with two characters, one who is defined by each emotion and incorporate as many of the facts you wrote down earlier. 

It might be that one character is in love with the works of Leonardo DaVinci while the other is remorseful for not encouraging their friend to follow their dream to be a painter.

Write for ten minutes. Think about how Sarah Gerard uses facts in combination with truthful statements and dialogue to add texture and move us through the piece!