Writing and Editing Change in springtime Robbins Skyward

March winds herald spring.  One day, warm zephyrs summon flowers and prompt buds to bloom. The next day, gale-force blowing snaps off stems, sweeps trembling petals on to cold soil.  Plants and trees often man up with admirable perseverance. They adapt. How has what happened affected you?

Look back on how you experienced a major change in your life. What happened? What understanding did you come to, with respect to yourself or your relationships with others? How did your behaviour alter?  What adjustments did you make? Did you accept the new way things are, or transform in order to cope?

Focus on what happened to youor to another, on a true occurrence or an imagined one.

Below are prompts to do with change. Let one choose you. Brainstorm. Let what comes up emerge, higgledy-piggledy: facts, emotions, images, sketches of scenes, short character descriptions. Free write for five minutes. Circle what moves you. Time yourself writing again. And a third time.

birth of child

winning a prize/passing an exam/receiving an honour

move to new house/country

accepting a wedding  proposal/ wedding day

conversion to a religion/important religious experience

treated unfairly at work

commended at work for job well done

leave lover or lover leaves you

break a limb/involved in accident/diagnosed with illness

a son or daughter mistreats you

lost in an unfamiliar place

unexpected event leads to unforeseen consequences

you and nemesis speak after long silence

Now turn brainstorming into a first draft.

All engaging writing starts at a point where things alter. We remember significant turning points in our lives, from momentous decisions to cherished events.  To make the reader turn the page you need to SHOW rather than tell what happened and how it affect you or your protagonist.  Take what you circled and begin to write. Write toward the catharsis,  growth, shift in perspective. Show, rather than tell.


A few zephyrs and gales to whoosh you on your way:

If the wind falls silent, she is listening to you. Speak.

If a wind swirls, let her dance. 

A sudden draft means an uncertain future

if the wind is howling. Ghosts are passing through. 

The wind plays your flute, gives life to your words. Honour what she gives you.

If she whispers in your ear, listen.

She has a strong temperament and angers easily: If she is talking thunder, stay safe.