Writing Wonder: Wandering List

With this one very easy exercise, you can grab hold of memories you didn’t know you had and generate many flash stories.  It’s also fun to do this exercise in a group well-known to you – they will add flavor to your entries, and vice versa, and remind you of things you had forgotten about.

  1. On a large sheet of paper in the top left corner, write your favorite color, such as Yellow.
    You can also do this later on other pages in other ways, such as with the name of a relative or your home town, etc.
  2. Make a list of things that word reminds you of, such as canary, lemon, tweety-bird dress in 1st grade, mom’s kitchen wall, etc.  Take some time to generate a long and varied list.
  3. Next to one item on the list, blow out a new list to the right, such as next to lemon, I might write Cousin Ruby’s lemonade, family reunion July 4, 1982, …
  4. For as long as it’s fruitful, and perhaps over days or weeks, continue to drill-down on items in the list.  Your associations will jump around wildly and it’s simply your mission to catch them as they go by.

You might also like:
More writing exercises
From journal entry to flash memoir
Why free-write the first draft?

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Categories: writing exercises

2 Comments on “Writing Wonder: Wandering List”

  1. February 2, 2014 at 7:49 pm #

    Christine, very cool idea, I like it. Orange is, without question, my colour… Gonna have to try this… We homeschool and it sounds like a neat exercise that kids could easily get into as well…

    • February 2, 2014 at 10:03 pm #

      Yes, this is such a useable, personal exercise that anyone can enjoy it. I’d like to hear how your kids like it. Thanks for commenting, Mike.

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