|Joyce Strand, Editor|
Strand's Simply Tips
Author, ON MESSAGE & OPEN MEETINGS
As I have said before: writing can be fun and even therapeutic. Not only can writing itself be fun, but learning to write provides an opportunity for family entertainment.
I have offered some Fun Family exercises in previous articles. The concept is to provide ways in this fast-paced world to hone writing skills—no matter what the age—and have fun with the family doing so. You can view the previous exercises here and here1.
Following are some new Fun Family writing exercises. Enjoy!
· Each member of the family is to write a page or two of dialogue of a conversation that you imagine two or more strangers are saying at a restaurant where you are enjoying a meal. The family should choose the people –discreetly, of course – even if it’s at McDonald’s. To make it more interesting, choose a genre, i.e., the dialogue is to tell a mystery, create a fantasy, deal with aliens, relate a romance, scare some zombies, or solve a life problem. Assign roles and then read the dialogues aloud.
· Write a paragraph describing a store where you bought something. Be sure to mention how the store smelled, what kind of sounds you heard, along with a physical description of the building. Tell why you bought the item. Read aloud your description to see if your family can guess which store – or type of store—you’re describing.
· Describe a new place you recently visited for the first time. Start with your first impressions of the place. Were you surprised at its appearance? Did it make you remember a forgotten experience? Were you afraid, intimidated, excited? Next describe the physical attributes of the location as an explanation of why you felt the way you did. Conclude with an explanation of how you felt when you departed the location. Were you still afraid, intimidated, excited? When you complete this description, read it to the family to see if they can guess the location.
· Describe what happens at your house when you get an unexpected call that some friends are planning to drop by. As a family, do you quickly scurry to pick up? Or, is your house always neat, but you wanted to finish just one more chore? Does everyone help? What do you do? Be sure to share your description with the family to see if they concur with your account.
· Write a paragraph describing a relative outside of your immediate family. Remember to recall more than just physical attributes: does he/she talk slowly or in staccato? Walk fast, talk with a mouth full of food, arch an eyebrow, laugh with a snort? Read your paragraph to the family to see if they can identify the person. Oh, and don’t be too negative!
· Write a paragraph about how you wake up in the morning. Does Mom have to shake you? Do you need to push the alarm multiple times on Snooze? Do you wake up before everyone else? If so, what do you do? If you have siblings, do you help get them up? Do you like waking up? How do you feel when you wake up?
I hope you enjoy these latest suggestions for Fun Family writing exercises. You can easily accommodate your own situation by changing some of the requirements. Or, if you have other suggestions, please leave them as a comment so that we can all enjoy them.