Education, Writing Prompts, Written Communication

Wednesday Writing Prompt: The Greatest Longing

English: ink and charcoal on paper
What is the greatest longing of your main character’s soul? | English: ink and charcoal on paper (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Quite some time ago, I mentioned that I would be posting writing prompts for you on Wednesdays, but somehow I never managed to follow through. But, have I got a good one for you today!

One of the writing exercises I had to complete for my Advanced Novel Writing course this week included a free-write in which I had to answer the following question:

What is the GREATEST LONGING in this character’s soul?

After bringing my free-write to class for discussion, I realized that I didn’t put half as much effort into this exercise as I should have. I wasn’t sure how long we were supposed to free-write for, as our professor hadn’t mentioned anything about time. In my Written Communication course, I always ask my students to free-write for about 10 – 15 minutes in class.

I assumed my free-write should be a bit longer than that considering they are technical college students, while I am a graduate student in a writing program. So, I wrote for about 20 minutes and called it done. However, my professor told us this week that we should always free-write for at least 30 minutes longer than we think we need to.

Thirty minutes? Man, have I ever been slacking! But my professor says that just when you think you’re done, that’s when the good stuff really starts to come out. Just when you think you’ve written something awesome, you’re only beginning to tap into that place inside you where the scary stuff hides.

So, for this week’s writing prompt, I would like to pose this same question to you and challenge you to write for at least thirty minutes past what you absolutely think you need.

How much time do you generally put into a free-write? Please comment below. And don’t forget to like my Writers Anonymous page on Facebook if you haven’t already.

~Mandy Webster

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