Write Five Sentences

by Sally Derby
(Cincinnati, Ohio)

I write stories for children, but I have occasional mornings when I come to my writing time feeling empty of ideas, positive I will never write another story.

So on those days, I give myself an out. I say, "Okay, Sally, so you can't write a story today. That's all right. But this is your work time, so before you put your pencil away, you have to write five sentences. They don't even have to relate to each one another. Just write five sentences that might begin a story on a day when you could write a story."

After I've grudgingly done that, I store those sentences in a computer document I call "Openings," and I'm free for the day. Later, maybe months later, on a day when I need inspiration, I go back to that document, and one may hit my eye. I tell myself, "I can work with this!" and I'm off and running. (This works because the sentences come from you, and your subconscious may have been working on one of them ever since without your even being aware.)

Here's a sentence I found that's now a middle grade novel I've begun to shop around, "We were all asleep when the elephant knocked!"

See how it works? Now go write five sentences and have fun!

Comments for Write Five Sentences

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Dec 12, 2013
two function are given below. write five sentences for each functions. (ewpressing dislike) greeting someone NEW
by: Anonymous

two function are given below. write five sentences for each functions. (ewpressing dislike) greeting someone

Dec 11, 2012
sports day NEW
by: sridevi

sports day as many indoor games and outdoor games such as hockey,carrom,.etc.,

Sep 28, 2011
by: nita

an elephant is the largest land animal.
it has along trunk
it have a very big ears
it have a big task
elephant had a great memory

Apr 26, 2010
by: Anonymous

Thanks. I wish there were editors as eager to read it! :>)

Apr 26, 2010
I want to read the elephant story
by: Anonymous

I love the idea of writing "prompts" for your own future use and then letting the subconscious work on them in the background. Fantastic tip!

The elephant sentence sounds like something from a Russell Edson poem. I'd love to read the story.

Apr 26, 2010
Go, Sally!
by: Anonymous

This is so cool, Sally. I'm going to write that story about the elephant as soon as I finish writing THIS. And the great thing is that my story about the elephant will be totally different from yours (which I hope you're busily writing right now!)

I also love your comment about the unconscious mind working on things when we don't even know it. I find that's true all the time! The main thing is to plug something in there for the unconscious mind to work ON!

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