This past year (2020) my wife graduated from an MFA program in Creative Writing. Over the course of her studies I learned that writing a trope’s example, and extending it into a micro-story every day was a sort of writing exercise that could benefit creative writers. For example:
Astrothesia (as-tro-the’-si-a): A vivid description of stars. One type of enargia.
I first learned the word “twinkle” when I learned the little poem “Twinkle, twinkle, little star.” Often, when I look at the sky at night, the childhood poem presents itself in my head. I’m in my mid-70s now and the poem’s still there.
I remember the night I taught the poem to my daughter—she was no more than 4 years old at the time. We were on the “point” by Little River, on the coast of Maine, years, and years, and years ago.
The sky was clear and black. There was no moon. No lights, just the sky full of twinkling stars. I pointed out the Big Dipper, the Little Dipper and of course, the Milky Way. Then suddenly, a meteor shot across the sky—without a sound tumbling toward earth. My daughter clapped her hands. I smiled and felt at peace, as I still do beneath the night sky.
I look and see the vast number of uncountable twinkling stars—no matter where I am in the world—Argentina, Russia, Taiwan, Turkey—everywhere my travels take me. The night sky settles me and the twinkling stars, in their random brilliance, nurture my need for wonder.
As I stand alone and look at the stars, I think of my daughter who just turned 27. I wonder if she remembers like I do. “Why would she?” I ask. “Why wouldn’t she?” I answer.
I’m not presenting this as an example of a great piece of writing. Rather, I want to show how tropes can summon lines of thought and, in this case, prompted me to write about one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. However, the writing can be purely fictional as well.
That’s all I can say right now. Use daily trope-example writing as an opening the practice your creative writing.