Weekend Writing Workout: Invasion of Space

I’ve been reading an excellent book called SelfDesign about the life long educational philosophy of Brent Cameron. In it he states that in order to stay balanced within ourselves and our relationships we have to learn not to extend ourselves into other people’s domains, violating their boundaries. He theorizes that if we stay 2/3 in our own space and share a consensual space of 1/3 each, we can keep our relationships in balance.

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Think about the over-bearing mother who smothers her child and is 3/4 in his personal space. He will definitely find ways to express his anger.

I haven’t tried this one yet, but I thought it made an interesting idea for an exercise about what transpires when characters invade each others’ space.

I think ideally this ends in writing a scene between two people who have “space” issues, but take it wherever it goes.

Your Workout

1) Set your timer for 5-7 minutes.

Start at the top of the page with the following startline:

The demon my character always keeps at bay looks like . . .

Write, don’t stop, don’t edit, don’t cross out.

2) When the timer stops, Set your timer for 7-10 more minutes.

Start with the following line: 

My character’s personal space is violated by his (mother, sister, brother, uncle, etc) when  . . .

Write, don’t stop, don’t edit, don’t cross out.

3) When the timer stops, Set your timer for 10-12 more minutes.

Start with the following line: 

To assert his personal space, my character…
OR
My character’s inability to assert his personal space stems from…

Write, don’t stop, don’t edit, don’t cross out.

4) NOW, set your timer for 10-15 more minutes.

WRITE THE SCENE in ACTION and DIALOGUE ONLY (to keep you moving forward – don’t get caught up in the minutia of description) in which this character is confronted with this invasion of space.

Use the start line:  Character B stepped closer to Character A and . . .

Even though you are writing a scene, just WRITE, don’t stop, don’t edit, don’t cross out.

Read your exercises and your scene, make notes, highlight what makes sense.

And have a fabulous, healthy weekend.

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