Here are your four story exercises for today. If you enjoy these prompts (or are looking to improve your writing or submit a manuscript), do take a look at my online courses… six are currently half price (when using coupon codes) and the other is FREE!
Time yourself for 15 minutes for each one, then either have a break or move on to the next one. When you’ve finished, do pop over to this blog’s Facebook Group and let everyone know how you got on.
Below are the four – you can do them in any order.
- Keywords: live, round, gaffe, café, giraffe
- Random: an unmarked car
- Picture: what does this inspire?
- Mixed bag: burglar (character 1), policewoman (ch.2), cable (object), motorway (location), angry (trait), has to catch a dangerous thief (dilemma)
Have fun, and if you would like to, do paste your writing in the comment boxes below so we can see how you got on! Remember though that it counts as being published so don’t post anything that you would want to submit elsewhere (where they require unpublished).
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!
- 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!
Picture above courtesy of morguefile.com
I love to talk about writing so feel free to email me. My online writing group blogs and their associated Facebook groups are:
Morgen’s Online Non-Fiction Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Novel Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Poetry Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Script Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Short Story Writing Group
Thank you for reading this and we look forward to your comments.