In this post, we suggest that writers make lists of what they will miss as inspiration – just as Nora Ephron did before she died.
When we teach our creative writing course, Writers Write, we always include exercises where we ask delegates to make lists for the characters they create. These could be shopping lists, bucket lists, to-do lists, or 10 things they would do if they won the lottery.
These lists are used as prompts to get writers to think about their characters in different ways. When we saw this on Letters of Note, we wanted to share it with you.
What Will You Miss?
Nora Ephron On Using Lists As Inspiration
Writer, Nora Ephron (born 19 May 1941) died on 26 June 2012 after a long battle with leukaemia.
The American author, playwright, screenwriter, and film director was known for her romantic comedies featuring strong female characters. She earned three nominations the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Silkwood, When Harry Met Sally…, and Sleepless in Seattle.
She wrote these lists in 2010 to end her book, I Remember Nothing: and Other Reflections, which is a hilarious look at the past, the present, and the future. She lists the things she will, and won’t, miss from her life.
What I Won’t Miss
- Dry skin
- Bad dinners like the one we went to last night
- Technology in general
- My closet
- Washing my hair
- Illness everywhere
- Polls that show that 32 percent of the American people believe in creationism
- Fox TV
- The collapse of the dollar
- Bar mitzvahs
- Dead flowers
- The sound of the vacuum cleaner
- E-mail. I know I already said it, but I want to emphasize it.
- Small print
- Panels on Women in Film
- Taking off makeup every night
What I Will Miss
- My kids
- The concept of waffles
- A walk in the park
- The idea of a walk in the park
- The park
- Shakespeare in the Park
- The bed
- Reading in bed
- The view out the window
- Twinkle lights
- Dinner at home just the two of us
- Dinner with friends
- Dinner with friends in cities where none of us lives
- Next year in Istanbul
- Pride and Prejudice
- The Christmas tree
- Thanksgiving dinner
- One for the table
- The dogwood
- Taking a bath
- Coming over the bridge to Manhattan
If you enjoyed this, you will love:
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- Louis Sachar On Writing
- Why Jane Hirshfield Writes
- Ruth Rendell On Writing Suspense
- 7 Bits Of Writing Advice From The Works Of Charles Dickens
- 6 Writing Tips From Norman Mailer
- 7 Pearls Of Writing Wisdom From Susan Sontag
- Writing Tips From Philippa Gregory
- Liane Moriarty’s Writing Tips
- Writing Advice From The World’s Most Famous Authors
TIP: If you want help writing a book, buy The Novel Writing Exercises Workbook.