One of the best parts has been some of the exercises the writer's groups have - you have one word for inspiration and 15 minutes to write whatever you come up with. No time to worry about the perfect word or grammar. Just get that idea down!
A lot of what's come out has been surprisingly good, like this small scene:
The inspiration word was 'capistrate' which is an adjective meaning hooded or cowled. I found it hard to work with, the image and story did not come easily - which is why after 15 minutes I had such a short scene. When we were done with the exercise, one of the other writers mentioned that he thought this scene was a good starting point for a story. Since I couldn't see myself doing anything with it, I told him to have fun with it, and let me know what he comes up with. Looking forward to whatever it is.
The hooded hawk strains at the jesses. A monk, cowled in black, holds him fast. Night falls like a cloak across the world as they ascend the tower steps.High above the sprouting fields, they watch the light fade. When all is dark, the monk removes the hood and jesses.'Fly, my brother.' He thrusts his arm aloft, and the bird launches itself into the air, circling once before it disappears into the night. 'Let one of us fly free.'
I started a tumblr to share some of the more interesting and fun results of these exercises: Drabbles, Dashes and Waves.
If anyone is interested in looking me up, my account name on SL is akirahaya. I'm still very much a n00b, but having fun learning, and would have happy to have other folks to explore with.