I am always amazed at the ability of people to knuckle down and respond to off the wall writing prompts. And respond with grace and wit.
My students are writing police procedural, fantasy, women's fiction, environmental issues, and what appears to be a Southern Gothic ghost story -- all books I look forward to reading someday.
Monday was spent in talking/writing about their protagonists and I think each of the students got a clearer sense of who those folks were or will be.
I assigned them the task of doing observations -- noting down interesting overheard conversations, descriptions of interesting sights, random profound thoughts -- anything that might find its way into a novel. And they had some goodies.
One of my observations was the bumper-stickered car I posted yesterday. One could construct an interesting character from the passions inferred -- or one could describe a character by the bumper stickers on his/her car.
(Query -- are bumper stickers a peculiarly American thing? Do people in other countries paste their preferences on their cars?)
Yesterday we worked on dialogue -- writing believable conversations, using BEATS instead of TAGS (see HERE) to enrich the reader's sense of what is going on, writing dialogue in which one participant is silent but responds with body language, writing dialogue when more than two are in the conversation, et cetera, et cetera.
While they write, sometimes I go out and take pictures. And sometimes I blog.
Then they read what they've written and the class comments.
And then I give them another prompt and off they go!