I believe that we all are writers, in one way or the other. We all write, in different forms, for different reasons. Some write to share their stories with the world, some express themselves through poetry, and some write essays for school projects for grades. Either way, we write. But sometimes, we face problems. Call it a writer’s block, or simple a lack of motivation, we all have to face some hurdles along the way. So how do you get past them? Here’s how.
Here are 10 writing exercises to help get your creative juices flowing.
- Don’t start at the beginning, start at the end.
Many writers find it more efficient to write from the end. There’s no rule that tells us to start from the beginning. You can either do this by narrating the end and then jumping back to the beginning like a rewind, or you can write the end first and figure out where your story is leading and then write the beginning, or just write the story in reverse chronological order. It’s all up to you!
- Write a letter to your younger self or older self.
Try to think of yourself as a separate person, such that your younger self or older self gets moved by your writing. If writing to your younger self, offer words of advice or compassion or write about how your choices then impacted the life you’re living now. If writing to your older self, write your dreams, your plans, shape out your future, ask questions, stuff like that.
- Write a story based on the emails in your spam folder.
Now, this is a far more interesting idea, one that I seem to enjoy a lot. Here’s an example of the first line of a spam mail:
Just drinking 1 cup of this delicious hot beverage in the morning sets you up to burn more fat than 45 exhausting minutes on the treadmill.
Use this as a writing prompt and let your whacky and bizarre ideas get going!
- Use the alphabet.
This is one that’s sure to get your gears turning! Write a story in which each sentence begins with the alphabets in order, which simply means that the first sentence should begin with A, second with B, third with C, and so on. It may sound easy, but it gets trickier as you reach the end!
- Write without using any adverbs.
This is a widely used exercise for fiction writers; to write a whole scene without using adverbs. As a writer, we tend to use words like ‘quickly’, ‘slowly’, ‘loudly’, and the like. Writing with adverbs makes the sentence seem ordinary, but if you want a powerful impact, use strong verbs. Here are two examples:
The girl walked quickly down the street.
Instead, we can write:
The girl strode down the street.
The girl hurried down the street.
“Stop talking!” he said, loudly.
Instead, we can write:
“Stop talking!” he exclaimed.
“Stop talking!” he said, in an outburst.
Notice the different emotions the above changes imply. Now, I’m not saying adverbs are bad, you should use them, but don’t make it monotonous, switch it up in between and watch your writing come to life.
- Pretend to be someone else.
Write as if you’re someone else. It could be anyone, a friend, a parent, a celebrity, a fictional character, or an original character. Write from their perspective, how they view things, how they think, how they feel, how they talk, everything. This is something I love doing, it’s so much fun to visualize someone else’s point of view, and it gives you so many things to think about.
- Describe your senses.
Describe what you see, what you hear, what you feel, what you smell, what you taste. Try and describe them as unique as you can. For example, the sentence “The light filtered through the windows” can be written more descriptively as “The morning rays of the sun filtered through the seams of the window, lighting up the infinite dancing dust particles and creating beautiful, distorted shadows on the bedroom floor.” See the difference? The first sentence simply states what’s happening, and the second makes you feel it, as if you’re right there with the narrator at that exact moment, envisioning it as the narrator.
- Listen and observe.
Similar to the previous one, this involves being a little creepy and spy-like. Listen to the conversations of people around you, observe people and make up stories about them. (No, I don’t mean gossiping or spreading rumors.) For example, the lady beside you could be talking to someone on the phone saying something like, “Is the work done? I’ll meet you at noon.” Make up a story based on that. What is the work? Is it something illegal? Or is it a surprise for her daughter? Or is it some top secret agent work? Think, and make up a short story on those lines.
- Write a well-known story from a different POV.
Another common exercise, take a popular story and write from a different character’s perspective. For example, Cinderella in the POV of the mice, or Harry Potter in the POV of Harry’s parents in heaven, looking down upon Harry. Something like that, you get my point. This is fun as well as it allows you to think more openly.
- 7, 7, 7
Confused? Don’t worry, I was too. Open the 7th book on your bookshelf, flip to the 7th page, 7th line. Start writing a short paragraph of 7 lines that starts with that line. Why 7, you might ask? I don’t know, it’s really up to you.
And we’re done! I hope this article helped you. Please don’t forget to check out our Wattpad page, @EarnestyCommunity and our Instagram page, @earnest_writes! Thank you for reading, happy writing!
EC Magazine Writer[LifeAsKashvi on Wattpad]
Sources: https://www.dailywritingtips.com/11-writing-exercises/ https://authority.pub/creative-writing-exercises/ https://writingcooperative.com/5-exercises-for-writers-534d2fcc3028 https://writetodone.com/10-best-creative-writing-exercises/