- Tip -

Or… turn yourself into a field mouse and then build the snowman…

Having just explained one thing (that it is easier to write about something you have experienced than it is to write about something you have not) I would like to now say the opposite!

For certain folk, imagining is easier than recalling.  This is mysterious, I grant you, but true.

It is good to get to know yourself as a writer.  If you suspect you are one of the Tribe of Very Imaginative Types, and you are given the same writing prompt:

Describe how to build a snowman

consider all of the options available to you.

• You are not a human, but a field mouse coming out of a den during winter.  You are building a field-mouse-sized snowman and even one wet, spring snowflake feels heavy and difficult to carry to a tiny, whiskered architect.

• You are building a snowman in summer, and you have to do it from the shavings of ice cubes from your freezer.  You quickly transport them out to the shade of your garage, the coolest place you can find, but the shavings are melting, and you’ve only got minutes before they become a grease-stained puddle. You need to build this snowman, because he knows the answer to an important question.

• The snowman is slowly coming alive as you build it, and then reaching for things and helping you with his spindly twig arms.

The possibilities are too many to list!

You still have to come up with a snowman.  But if familiar circumstances make you feel stuck and invented circumstances make you feel free, ask your teacher if you can work with a writing prompt in this way.

Action item: Invent anything and everything around your writing prompt.  Find one idea that leads you to more.  Let your imagination run out the barn door!

For those of us who do not imagine so easily, it is enormously entertaining to visit places created by those who do.

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