In a podcast with Tim Ferris, Rainn Wilson — who played Dwight on The Office — shared a hilarious exercise from acting school to trigger the emotional and psychological states of playfulness and creativity.
As soon as I heard it, I thought, “This would be a great exercise to adapt for writers.”
The exercise is called, “Sexy Nostrils”. Which I might add, is absolute perfection.
Here is a bulleted list followed by a breakdown of the game:
- Make a list of body parts and adjectives
- Choose a paired body part and adjective
- Develop a character
The gist of the exercise is to first brainstorm a list of body parts and adjectives, such as angry elbows, sloppy ankles and – you guessed it – sexy nostrils.
After generating a list of body parts and adjectives, then the person or group participating in the exercise chooses one of the paired adjectives and body parts, for example sexy nostrils, and develops a character around that description.
The paired body part and adjective becomes the center and dominant trait of that character.
In this example, an actor plays a character whose main feature and trait is sexy nostrils. Imagine a character, male or female, who thought they had sexy nostrils and so featured them with sensuous nostril gestures.
If you’re laughing out loud or this just seems completely silly to you, then you’ve got the point.
The idea is to create something so silly and so playful that it breaks all patterns of normalcy. It’s intended to have fun by getting loose and breaking out of normal interactions.
The Timing of Sexy Nostrils
While the timing of sexy nostrils is a very personal decision, here are some suggestions:
- Loosen up before writing sessions
- Break through writers block
- Creative generating practice
- Develop characters
So if you want to do something fun or you’re feeling stuck, break out your sexy nostrils.
Christopher is somewhere showing off his sexy nostrils. If you like children, animals and happiness, Click here to join my newsletter community.
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