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How Stephen King and his wife created a new generation of novelists: imagination exercises

Earlier this week, the New York Times ran an article by Susan Dominus about novelist Stephen King and his family. In “Stephen King’s Family Business,” I learned that two of King’s three children have gone into the “family” business of writing novels and one son is married to another novelist. Wow. Can you imagine a family of novelists?

One thing that struck me was when King explained that as he and his novelist wife, Tabitha, put their children to bed at night, they didn’t read stories to their children, instead they asked their children to tell them stories. What a great idea and what a wonderful way to encourage young people’s imaginations.

Even as an adult, I try to think of ways to stimulate my imagination such as:

* I practice oral storytelling whenever I can, paying attention to my audience to see if I’ve hooked them.

* I watch people around me and write down anything interesting. Today, I noticed a young woman in front of me at the ATM who had a pattern of spider tattoos all over her body. (Hmm…maybe she was related to King?)

* I make up stories about people that look interesting to me.

* I’m always asking, “What if?” What if that woman with the spider tattoos was forced to perform in a carnival sideshow and the spider tats were someone’s way of keeping her in their web?

There are many ways we can stimulate our imaginations…what are some of your favorites?

One Comment Post a comment
  1. That’s such a great idea asking the children to tell them stories 🙂 I try and dopeople watching but normally my imagination is stimulated by writing small 100 pieces from prompts or from an image. Good post 🙂

    August 17, 2013

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