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Your First Crush? That person you never should have dated?

If you’ve noticed, I’ve stopped numbering my Unblocker posts. If you are ever in need of a creative spark, the Unblocker prompts and photo inspirations can be found in the “Blog Highlights” tab, above. Click on the “Writing Prompt” link to find the entire list.

For the last two weeks, I’ve presented you with a “combined” Unblocker prompt where I’ve attempted to present one prompt that can be used both by the Legacy Writer, and the Fiction Writer who wants to more deeply explore their character’s background. (See the past Unblockers:  Childhood Home & Childhood Friends.) Today, we remain focused on early years, but shifting slightly older, to first crushes and first loves.

The Rules

  1. Legacy Writer: If you are using this exercise to help you with your own legacy writing, what you are looking for is a prompt to get you writing. Take the prompt below and just begin to write, free-writing style, with no concern for format or even content. All you want to do is get the pen(cil) moving. So, answer the questions below with as much detail as you can remember. If you suddenly focus on one aspect of your response, go with it. Let anything you stumble across that you find yourself writing more about just run on as far as it will go. Don’t worry. The rest of the prompt will still be here, later, if you want to come back to it. If you get to the end of your writing quickly, go back, close your eyes, try to “see” as many little details of your answer as you possibly can, and then write some more.

  2. Fiction Writer: Be your character — the one you are having the hardest time understanding — and answer these questions from that character’s point of view. Pretend you are that character and they are sitting down to do this legacy writing exercise. What would they write? When you find something new and surprising, dwell on it a bit, and see if it is something you can use in your fiction writing.

The Exercise

Young love, first love, unrequited love: It’s all a part of the teen years. Write about your experiences (or those of your troublesome character) by focusing on the questions below:

  1. Tell about your first crush. Who? When? Where? Did you act on your feelings or suffer in silence? Did the crush-ee know? What made him/her so special?

  2. Same information about your first boyfriend/girlfriend. (If the first crush became the first boyfriend/girlfriend, I suppose you’d better write about it twice! Haha!)

  3. Describe a first date that was either really good, or really bad.

  4. Tell about a romance you had. Did romantic entanglements cause you to change? Did you act differently than you thought you would? What did you learn about yourself (your life) from romantic relationships that you didn’t learn from simple friendships? Were you hurt? Did you hurt someone else?

  5. Who broke your heart? Who’s heart did you break?

  6. Who didn’t you date that you wished you had? What opportunities did you miss?

  7. Who did you date that you absolutely should not have?

  8. How did teenage romances effect your relationships with your parents? Siblings? Other friends?

There you go, a good start. Hopefully these questions take you down a long, winding road into new realizations. Good luck!

This series of Unblocker writing exercises combines Legacy Writing (writing with a focus on personal history) with exercises you can use to break free if you’ve found your fiction writing to be stuck.

My theory is this: The legacy writing exercises can also be good for fiction writers who have hit a creative wall with a character. Just as the legacy writer can use these questions to unlock the important things that happened in their past, a fiction writer can use these same questions to learn new, important things about a character..

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