One of my favorite writing exercises relates to obsessions. (Faithful readers may remember I mentioned this in The Fiction Class. Just saying.) The exercise is to make a list of your five obsessions.
Recently, I was discussing this with my Intro to Fiction class, and I made a list of my own.
1. Dogs. I am obsessed with dogs and will read anything relating to dogs, unless I know for a fact the dog dies at the end. My first novel had a Golden Retriever in it; the one I’m working on now involves a cockapoo. There’s something about the very name cockapoo that sets me off.
2. Illness. I am obsessed with illness and will read anything related to illness, unless I know for a fact that the person dies at the end. (That last part isn’t true. What is true is that I will develop symptoms of any illness I read about.)
3. Family. I love stories about the way family members interact with each other, whether it be mothers and daughters, mothers and sons, and so forth.
4. Writing. I’m fascinated by writers and how they work. For that reason, and others, I love reading memoirs.
5. That’s personal. There’s got to be one thing I won’t write about.
How about you? What are your obsessions?