Unlock the Muse – June 18, 2019

June is already half over. Summer solstice is days away, ushering in the official start to the season. Already we’ve experienced record breaking temperatures where I live, though thankfully, they have come back down to a more reasonable level.

This month, I’ve been focusing on organization. Have you tackled any of the challenges? Personally, I’m still working on clearing my writing space. Yeah, it was that bad. My summer calendar also, is a work in progress. Still, I have a new challenge for you this week.

This week, build a Rolodex-style system for your characters. Whether you use an actual Rolodex, a series of index cards, or 3-ring binders with full page dossiers for each character, create a profile for each character in your work in progress. Include more detail with your main characters, but be sure to write up something for even the most minor of minor characters. Little is more frustrating than creating a small time character, giving her a name, then being unable to recall that name when she shows up again several chapters later. Give her a profile, even if it contains nothing more than her name and role.

Here’s your writing prompt for this week:

Follow the scent. Of all the senses ignored by writers, the sense of smell has to be the most over-looked. Those two little holes in the front of our face tell us a lot about the world, so don’t let your characters miss out on the olfactory experience. Re-enter a story you wrote, and add smells.

I’m among the guilty in neglecting the sense of smell in my writing. Scent can trigger strong memories and emotions. It can be quite powerful if used well in your fiction.


1. Arrange into a structured whole; order.
2. Make arrangements or preparations for (an event or activity); coordinate.

The word organize comes from the early 15c, from the Middle French organiser and directly from Medieval Latin, organizare which comes from the Latin word organum, meaning “instrument or organ.”
(from etymonline.com)

Happy writing!

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