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“You enter the extraordinary by way of the ordinary.” ~Frederick Buechner

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Strategy # 6 Homespun Locale: Vacation Worksheet

Build Your Story: 8 Strategies for Writing Innovative Setting with Impact

Family Vacation Journal Worksheet

Another way to approach local flavor is to use your own personal vacations as a starting point. Then from that base material you can adjust fictionally up and down the emotional scale from humor to terror depending on your genre.

Try it out first with a short weekend trip you’ve taken recently.


1.     Make a list of all the events you remember that happened. (ex. flat tire two hours before reaching destination)

2.     a. Make a list of all the people there: family, friends, and strangers.

b. Next to each name put what was the distinguishing characteristic of that person at that time. (ex. lady in snack shack—had wild hair) (brother—told a new joke every morning)

3.     Describe the setting: place, weather, and smells.

4.     Was there then or afterwards an image or repeated phrase that became a code for that vacation? (ex. Remember the phone?)     

5.     What is your specific emotional connection that makes it your……….?

6.     Write out a rough draft of that vacation. Overwrite the sensory details. Then revise once again choosing the main focus.

  For example: “Every time I smell jasmine I remember…

Add taste, hear, touch, and see.

Share: What one incident distinguished your trip?
Read deep, marcy

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