Improv and writing
Open up the flow of words with improv garden writing games and exercises. Different than the typical writing salon, the improv garden version adds a comical twist and garden-related. An improv salon, encouraged at places like Berkeley Word Party Meetup group, is a “fun, loosely structured way to generate stories and ideas” and is quite popular.
Saturday, October 25th, a few members of the High Desert Branch of the California Writers Club (HDCWC) met in a lovely garden. John and Karen Kane, a husband and wife improv team from www.i2the6th.com led the group in warm-up word games. Following the word games, I asked the group to write a sentence focused on any word from the games and somehow connected to a garden. Blogger and HDCWC member Rusty LaGrange refers to this one-sentence writing game as Chained Sentences.
What does improv have to do with writing? Plot, characters and dialogue of a game, scene or story are made up in the moment. Improvisation is a great tool for writers block.
Fran Sorin recommends tips like surrender, imagine, and work your creativity muscles. Fran says to let go of control. It’s a great opportunity to laugh at yourself. I love her imagine statement to create scenarios that are goofy, paradoxical, real. That’s what we did at last Saturday’s improv garden salon. Yes, the chained sentences were a mix of goofy, paradoxical, and real – and hilarious.
The word game that John and Karen taught the improv garden salon group required listening and staying in the moment. Focusing on what the other person was saying was the only way to get through the game.
Incidentally, Fran Sorin is a gardener and garden designer. I have a hunch that she would have loved participating in our Improv Garden Salon.
Garden inspired writing
Walking through or sitting in a garden inspires a writer with ideas, color, sounds. Standing near tall rosebushes in Karen’s garden in front of her house, I closed my eyes to focus on sounds. First, I wrote down my thoughts. Then, I decided to capture the sound on video. You can hear the wind. Watch as the roses wave in the wind:
Ah. Fascinating. Beautiful.
We had fifteen minutes of quiet garden time to write down what inspired us. Afterwards, we met again at the picnic table on the back porch and share our inspiration.
Improv writing may be focused on any topic you choose. Gardening is what I chose because I love it. Gardening provided inspiration, and improv helped us to build some creativity muscles.