Tag Archives: harolds

Say “Yes, and…”

Moonday Madness

a blog for writers

Every September the Colorado Romance Writers host their fabulous retreat for those members who are lucky enough to attend. Last year we had several amazing workshops, one with Liz Pelletier from Entangled (read about it HERE), and one with Margie Lawson (read about it HERE). This year our retreat workshops were hosted by members who maybe are not so famous. One of those was….me!

Kickstart Your Writing with Improv, was the one-hour workshop that I created for the retreat, we played silly improv games, learned about Harolds (a type of character that helps improve roll along smoothly), and we learned to say “Yes, and…”. Of all the skills we practiced I believe the most important is the ability to say “Yes, and…”. In improv, when you are interacting with your fellow cast mates, you need to say “yes” to whatever crazy scenario they throw at you. When you say “yes” you enable your partner to keep rolling with their imagination, and when they say “yes” to your crazy lines, they enable you to roll on with your imagination. Saying “no” stops all that. It puts a halt to you’re ability to create.

When you are brainstorming for your story saying “Yes, and…” is essential to letting your imagination run wild. And when you let your imagination run free you let your writing go to places you never would in real life. Would you create a character with blue ears if you didn’t say “Yes, and…” ? And if we are going to say “yes” to the blue ears, what about saying something else like her name is Bathusda and she is  being exalted by the media for her blue ears?

Why not?

There is no risk when you say “Yes, and…” in brainstorming. No one sees it, no one tells you no, no one will say that you are ridiculous for even thinking about it. And you might just come up with a stellar idea. Like say, sparkly vampires? Or a twelve year old boy who is going to save the world. Or a Red Riding Hood who is also a were-wolf. You just don’t know unless you say, “YES!”

When have you let your imagination run wild? Did you come up with something you would never write?


Filed under Moonday mania, Writer's Journey, writing craft