A while back, I decided I really wanted to keep a Commonplace Book of my own. For those of you that aren't familiar with the phrase, a Commonplace Book is an archive for quotes, ideas, or images from your life. It's a bit like a cross between a journal and a scrapbook.
But I couldn't get myself started, because nothing really seemed... good enough, I guess. (This is a problem rather like what I face when I have a brand new notebook and it's really nice but I can't bring myself to actually write anything in it... only on a more conceptual level.)
So last week, I realized that my desire for a Commonplace Book might overlap very nicely with my desire to practice creative writing every day. I want to have a daily exercise I can look back on in a year or two years and say "wow, I've really improved in that time!" Mostly, this is inspired by an artist I follow on Tumblr that did a daily sketch for 3 years. Her dedication fired my imagination, and here we are.
I have a brand new notebook I bought specifically for this purpose, and I'm ready to fill it with amazingness! Or failures, as the case may be.
In addition to the notebook, I have three important resources: a book of writing prompts, a list of my original characters, and a random number generator. :) So I randomly select a character from the list (which is being continually updated), read the next prompt in the book, and start writing, either about that character or from that character's perspective.
So far, it's been lots of fun, and I think this is something I should be able to continue for a good long time.
Today, the random number generator selected Colton Lancaster, the son of a wealthy New York politician. Colton has a younger sister, whom he loves very much.
The prompt for today was: "Tell us about the time you broke: a bone, a heart, a promise, or the law." Colton claims never to have done three of those things, so related the story of the time he broke a promise and promised never to do it again.
He was old enough to know that it was wrong. As he looked down into his sister's young, round face, there was s tight sort of uncomfortable feeling in his chest and throat. Colton didn't like that feeling, and tried to ignore it.
"I'm sorry, Bri. Plans changed." He meant to explain more, but it was unexpectedly difficult to continue. He cleared his throat.
"But... you promised," she whispered. Bri was a good girl, but distressingly emotional. Even now, her eyes were filling with tears.
"Yes, I know I promised. But something came up. Father wants me to go with him today. We'll try again tomorrow-" Before he finished, there were fat tears trickling down her cheeks and her lower lip was trembling. He hugged her, not knowing what else to do. This was wrong.
Never again, he pledged. I'll never let this happen again as long as I live. Promises shouldn't ever be broken.