Posted in exercises, writing

Story Writing Exercises 043: Thursday 28th February

Here are your four exercises for today. Time yourself for 15 minutes for each one, then either have a break or move on to the next one.

043 524278 blue eyesYou can do them in any order.

  1. Keywords: task, rebellion, reveal, ignite, hall
  2. Random: S/he has weight issues
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. Mixed bag: debt collector (character 1), hairdresser (ch2), fruit machine (object), cinema (location), water (dilemma), forgetful (trait)

Have fun, and do paste your writing in the comment boxes below so we can see how you got on!

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Posted in exercises, writing

Story Writing Exercises 042: Wednesday 27th February

Here are your four exercises for today. Time yourself for 15 minutes for each one, then either have a break or move on to the next one.

042 bath 119960You can do them in any order.

  1. Keywords: red, curtains, face, vicar, laugh
  2. Random: S/he’s famous in her home country
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. Sentence start: Lifting up the flap…

Have fun, and do paste your writing in the comment boxes below so we can see how you got on!

Continue reading “Story Writing Exercises 042: Wednesday 27th February”

Posted in exercises, writing

Story Writing Exercises 041: Tuesday 26th February

Here are your four exercises for today. Time yourself for 15 minutes for each one, then either have a break or move on to the next one.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou can do them in any order.

  1. Keywords: top, mean, enjoy, conversation, ninety-six
  2. Random: S/he’s stealing from her/his company
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. Title: The light on the ceiling

Have fun, and do paste your writing in the comment boxes below so we can see how you got on!

Continue reading “Story Writing Exercises 041: Tuesday 26th February”

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Story Writing Exercises 040: Monday 25th February

Here are your four exercises for today. Time yourself for 15 minutes for each one, then either have a break or move on to the next one.

152 angel 155871You can do them in any order.

  1. Keywords: France, tune, whistle, repetitive, none
  2. Random: Fill in a word association word web (http://eduplace.com/graphicorganizer/pdf/clusterweb2.pdf is an example), starting with the word ‘free’ then pick 5 of the words you created and write a piece including those words. You could of course pick another 5 for another piece… and so on.
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. Monday Monologue: Her girl/boyfriend is cheating on her

Have fun, and do paste your writing in the comment boxes below so we can see how you got on!

See below for explanations of the prompts, they do vary…

  • Sentence starts = what they say on the tin. You can start the beginning of the story with them or a later sentence but they’re a great way of kicking off.
  • Keywords = the words have to appear in the story but can be in any order and can be lengthened (e.g. clap to clapping).
  • One-word prompt = sometimes all it takes is one word to spawn an idea. Sometimes it easy, sometimes hard but invariably fun.
  • Mixed bag = two characters, an object, a location, a dilemma, a trait. Mix them all together and you have a plot… hopefully.
  • First person piece or monologue (a one-sided conversation).
  • Dialogue only = this is where you literally just write a conversation between two people. No ‘he said’, ‘she said’ or description, just speech and the reader has to be able to keep up. 🙂
  • Second-person = some of you will know that I champion. The prompt can be in any style but has to be written in second-person viewpoint… oh, what a hardship. 🙂
  • Title: This is the title of your story.
  • Picture prompts = nothing other than a picture. What does it conjure up?
  • Random = whatever takes my fancy!

Tips

  • Don’t forget your five senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, smell
  • Show don’t tell: if your character is angry, don’t tell us he is, have him thumping his fist on the table.
  • Colours: Include at least one colour in your story. It does add depth.
  • Use strong verbs and avoid adverbs: Have a character striding instead of walking confidently.
  • Only use repetition to emphasise.
  • When you’ve finished the first draft, read the story out loud. It’s surprising how many ‘mistakes’ leap out at you when you read out loud… assuming you have any of course!

Pictures courtesy of morguefile.com

I love to talk about writing so feel free to email me. I’ll be pasting these in this blog’s Facebook Group so you may find some other comments there. If you’d like to submit a story for critique on this site, see Submissions. The other critique writing groups are:

Thank you for reading this and we look forward to your comments.

Posted in exercises, writing

Story Writing Exercises 039: Friday 22nd February

Here are your four exercises for today. Time yourself for 15 minutes for each one, then either have a break or move on to the next one.

040 red scarf 783542You can do them in any order.

  1. Keywords: teardrop, calling, food, air, silly
  2. Picture: what does this inspire?
  3. Random: Joy from the rock band, learns to foresee the future, the woman in 3b, saves mother
  4. One-word prompt: Sunday

Have fun, and do paste your writing in the comment boxes below so we can see how you got on!

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Story Writing Exercises 038: Thursday 21st February

Here are your four exercises for today. Time yourself for 15 minutes for each one, then either have a break or move on to the next one.

038 art gallery 155297You can do them in any order.

  1. Keywords: mix, fortune, white, bunch, smile
  2. Random: Find / Google two pictures; one of a male, one female and completed a profile template for each (name, age, nationality, height, job, hair colour, quirk, favourite TV programme, favourite food etc). Get to know your character.
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. Dialogue: Two friends are gossiping about another friend

Have fun, and do paste your writing in the comment boxes below so we can see how you got on!

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Story Writing Exercises 037: Wednesday 20th February

Here are your four exercises for today. Time yourself for 15 minutes for each one, then either have a break or move on to the next one.

037 stalemate 89885You can do them in any order.

  1. Keywords: file, paper, red, nut, stapler
  2. Random: S/he’s about to elope with a younger partner…
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. Final sentence: …the day Lillian learned to drive.

Have fun, and do paste your writing in the comment boxes below so we can see how you got on!

Continue reading “Story Writing Exercises 037: Wednesday 20th February”