One way to exercise your writer’s mind and have fun
In Ayn Rand’s The Art of Fiction: A Guide for Writers and Readers, she recommends exercising our writer minds long before we actually put words to paper. Then when we do begin to write, the ideas and words flow. I like her advice and think of it in terms of being playful and having fun.
As I read, sometimes a sentence or phrase stops me in my tracks. When this happens, I like to examine the sentence, learn from it or just play around with it.
This happened to me recently when I read this line: “Men do not often boil a woman’s rabbit.” I was reading best-selling author Bob Mayer’s description of different archetypes of men and women. At first, this sentence stopped me because I didn’t understand it. I had to take a few minutes to wrap my brain around it. Finally, I got the meaning—we often see women “boiling a man’s rabbit,” but not vice versa.
I thought the line would make a great poem title someday so I made note of it in my poetry journal. Then I started to think about character development—what kind of man might boil a woman’s rabbit? Like Alice in Wonderland, I was getting curiouser and curiouser.
I came up with three types of men who might boil a woman’s rabbit:
- A total wuss who is browbeaten by his wife and doesn’t “wear the pants in the family.”
- A loving, caring man who was raised by a single mother and taught to honor, respect, and empower women.
- A man who is sick of the corporate, consumer-driven work force and decides to be a stay-at-home parent and let his wife support the family.
I may never do anything with the sentence, “Men do not often boil a woman’s rabbit,” but at least I exercised my writer’s mind and had fun! (But I do think I’ll use it as a poem title. It’s just so strange and lovely and I could write so many different poems to fit the title).
What sentences have made you curious recently?