Saturday Starter: Creative Writing Prompt for May 18

Saturday, May 6, 2017
The 3 a.m. Epiphany

Our Creative Writing Group meets the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month. We are working through the exercises in Brian Kiteley's The 3 A.M. Epiphany: Uncommon Writing Exercises That Transform Your Fiction. The assignment for May 18th is The Team - 156.

Examine a group of people that are part of a team. Don't show us their actual sports activity (game or practice time). Don't even tell us what sport they play. Show us only their lives off the field, away from the coaches and the crowds. Show us how these people are tied together - the ridiculous and moving bonds of something other than friendship - team spirit, esprit de corps, hatred of other teams. The idea of this exercise is to study the way people create group relationships - the invisible web of commitment sand hierarchies. 500 words

Think about the difference between paid athletes and amateur athletes (high school or college teams, although many would dispute that college sports like football and basketball are unpaid). How does exploring group relationships help you fiction? Large coherent groups are quite common, but they are difficult to describe. Some films use a herd of characters as the center of action stories, like The Fugitive and Twister, where a group of five or six actors tag along with a main character or characters. We do not necessarily know their names, but the group ethic is important for the way the story progresses. These characters are defined in fundamentally different ways than individual, single character are defined. We see and hear, first and foremost, the group dynamic, the skills each has, and the chatter.

Come with six copies of your completed assignment to share. We'll discuss and provide feedback. First time? Feel free to come and observe before jumping in.