Friday, August 5, 2011

Life Lessons

You guys are probably sick of reading about weddings.  I'm sick of thinking about weddings!  But alas, in this special and unique period of my life, I find myself without time to write and learning a gazillion life lessons.  As a result, I feel I must record some of these changes and transitions.  They are too valuable to not get down somewhere. 

So, here are some tidbits of what I've been learning recently, complete with writing prompts for fun (since life lessons = good stories).

#1 - It's your big day, AND it's not all about you.
If you notice, there is a comma before the conjunction in that sentence, meaning that the two statements are independent clauses.  That is true because I feel like these two ideas are the most popular wedding mentalities present in today's brides.

The fact of the matter is that they are both true.  The day IS your big day and you should plan it as it will make you happy.  If you just have to have that photobooth or you'll always wonder how fun it would've been, book it.  However, it is also not just about YOU getting married.  The purpose of a wedding is to give your guests (who are super excited for you) the opportunity to celebrate your marriage.  Believe it or not, they are there for you (at least most of them).  Honor them and respect them with a ceremony & a reception that demonstrates you appreciate their love, affection, and best wishes.

Note: Show honor and respect to your family members, especially mothers and grandmothers.  It means a lot to them.

PROMPT: A bride-to-be and her mother are on opposite ends of the spectrum in regards to these two ideologies.  Write a conversation in which they are talking about wedding details/plans.  Try to not have the characters specifically mention their ideology but instead have their own agenda come through their dialogue.

#2 - Listen and understand to what people are saying.
As I've mentioned before, a wedding is both a celebration and a grieving process for family members.  The bride and groom create a new family and leave their old ones on their wedding day.  Because there are so many transitions going on, there is a lot of joy and pain.  There is a lot of stress.  While the stress is inevitable, how you deal with it is key.  Listen and understand where people are coming from.  You will not regret it.

PROMPT: Your first-person narrator is mute.  Write at least two pages of your narrator interacting with someone close to them.

#3 - Be specific.
After you're done listening, be specific when you voice your own opinions and emotions.  Don't use words like always or never.  Even something like "most of the time" should be avoided.  Say how you felt at a specific time because of a specific action.

PROMPT: Character 1 said something to Character 2 that hurt his/her feelings.  Write about how Character 2 approaches Character 1 about the situation.