When you're at a writing stump or you just want to write about something different but you're not sure what, you can consider one of many writing prompts to help you along.
There are a number of creative writing exercises that you can consider trying out, and you can be almost guaranteed that you’ll come up with something different every time.
Because writing can be very therapeutic, it’s a great habit to have whenever you have spare time. Just sit down with a pen and a scrap piece of paper and write down whatever you want to. You can easily get out your pent up emotions and share your thoughts without having to actually express them verbally to someone.
Writing is a fantastic means of cleansing yourself of doubt, fear, anger, and any other major emotion you may be feeling, but if you’re not quite sure where to start, check out the below writing prompts to get you started. You’ll also find a number of reference books to help you along, as well.
Here are the tips:
1. Know Your ABC’s
This has always been one of my favorite writing exercises. You can use it when you just want to write and have nothing to write about. You can use it in just about any situation.
This particular exercise, calls for you to write for fifteen minutes without ever stopping your pen.
- You will write about anything and everything that comes to your mind.
- No editing.
- No moving backwards to read what you’ve written.
- If at anytime in that 15 minute period you run out of words, your pen cannot stop moving, so what are you supposed to do?
- Write your ABC’s.
- Continue to write the alphabet until words come to your head.
2. Keep Collections
Write for at 5- 10 minutes about an object you’ve picked up. You will want to keep a collection or odds and ends ranging from buttons, string, stones, shells, figurines, etc.
When you can’t think of anything to write about, go to your collection and choose an object in hopes to spark your imagination. It may be the easiest to keep all the objects in a small box or canister.
3. Fill in the Blanks
This is a fun technique that allows you to take a simple phrase, and turn it into a page long entry.
The phrases can range anywhere from simple to complex, and you can make them your own.
Turn a happy thought, into something sad and depressing, if you will.
Try to write at least one page from any given phrase.
I have provided you with ten phrases to get you started.
- One day, I decided to…
- Watching the rainbow pass us by as we drove…
- Her purse seemed to be filled with…
- The party was a disaster because…
- The car sped off…
- I can’t wait to go home and…
- Today at work…
- After prom we…
- Later at the picnic…
- Tomorrow when we go to the beach…
4. Idea Box
Create an idea box for all of the ideas that you come up with. This will help you save the things that spark your imagination for a later day.
Write down whatever inspires you and store it away. Accumulate as many ideas as possible, so that you have ideas to pull from when you’re stumped.
5. Scenery & Conversations
Go outside, another room, the mall, anywhere. Take a look around for a minute or so, and go back to your pen and paper to write everything down that you remember.
Try to be specific, or be general. Just write for ate least 10 minutes. This will help you create scenes and scene idea that you can use later on.
While you’re sitting in the food court of the mall, try to listen in to conversations. If you hear anything you shouldn’t, find another conversation to listen in on.
Note the people talking. Assume their personalities, likes, dislikes. Try to figure out the people in the conversation and the people they may be talking about.
Use this in the future dialogue. This will help you get into your character’s personality and speech. It should help you when your story calls for two or more characters talking.
By seeing what people look like, how they dress, how they talk, and what body mannerisms they make, you can incorporate these features into your characters and their dialogue.
6. Jumble Story
This is a rather interesting exercise. You will want to pick four numbers, each ranging from 1 to 10.
You can do this a few ways:
- Have the numbers written on small slips of paper and random draw one, replace it, draw again, replace the paper, and draw for the third time, and then the fourth.
- Have a friend choose the four numbers of you.
- Have the numbers written down on a piece of paper, close your eyes, and point four times, opening your eyes between each pick.
You can come up with other ways of picking the three numbers, as well.
The first number will choose your character, the second your setting, the third the time, and the fourth the situation. What you will do, is to take the the four elements and combine them in some way to form a story. The character that you choose must be your main character, but not necessarily your only character.
The setting, time, and situation, must, also, be your main subjects, but you can deviate with other settings, times, and sub-situations.
Have fun with the exercise. You should try to complete an entire short story. Don’t worry about editing just yet.
Juan Koss – I am a school teacher with 23 years’ experience, PhD writer at DoMyWriting and writing articles has become my hobby. Most of my articles are related to education and parenting ideas.