The Greek philosopher Plato famously wrote, "Necessity is the mother of invention." I tend to think he was onto something. Often, I find that the most creative solutions come from not having quite the right tool.
This weekend I was caught entertaining two preschoolers in a busy Starbucks without any toys or props. It should be a relatively easy task, except that all I really wanted to do was relax and savor my latte and not think about games for ten minutes, so I scanned the table for entertainment value. Table. Coffee sleeve. Empty juice box. Napkin. Not a lot of promise.
After a moment of reflection, I settled on the napkin and after finding it too flimsy for origami, we made paper airplanes. Voila! Ten minutes of peace for me and entertainment for them.
It got me thinking about a twist to the classic deserted island question. You know the one - If you could take one person (alt. one thing) with you to live forever on a desert island, who (what) would it be? It's a decent open-ended question, but not quite what I was looking for. I wasn't curious about what is important to you. I was curious about what you would do to entertain yourself with little to nothing, how you (or your character) could think outside the box.
Today's writercize is about stretching your imagination, which is a very useful writing tool when it comes to understanding your character and how they relate to the world around them.
writing exercise: You (or your character) are stuck, alone, in a square room with one light hanging overhead. No windows, no doors, no technology. You will be in the room for several hours and sleep is not an option, so you must find ways to entertain yourself. The only objects in the room are:
- a box of Kleenex
- a hand-held mirror
- a flashlight
- a bag of rubber bands
- a rolling pin
- a blanket
How do you pass the time?
(Click "read more" for writercizer sample response.)
I am hesitant to write because I don't want to sway your response in any way, so out of character I will leave this section "blank" and edit my reply at a later date. Good luck writercizers!