I was recently at the San Miguel Writers Conference, and I felt that some of my workshops needed to include more writing exercises. I want to be forced to write about things I wouldn’t normally write about. It’s like going to those body-pump classes at the gym. They’re annoying in the moment, but afterward you feel energized (and sweaty…but in a good way.) After all, the brain is a muscle, and the more writing exercises you do, the stronger your creative mind becomes.
Since I didn’t get as strenuous a work out as I would have liked, I made up my own writing prompts. I look forward to assigning these exercises to myself over the next few weeks. Why don’t you pick a few to try as well? Or, come up with your own and share them with me!
8 WRITING EXERCISES to MAKE YOUR MIND SWEAT
1. Pick a word from the following list and free-write about it for at least five minutes: ghost, separation, slimy, forbidden, fireplace, tonic, chest, desperation
2. Write a first-person narrative in which the narrator is the opposite sex as you and fifty years older or younger than you.
3. Write about a terrible thing happening in a beautiful place.
4. Describe (both physically and behaviorally) your first boyfriend/girlfriend/crush
5. Write out a scene from one of your favorite books/stories/movies. Don’t read or watch the scene first – just do it from memory.
6. Write about one of your earliest childhood memories from the perspective of someone other than yourself.
7. Write about a person doing something he/she really doesn’t want to do. (You could write about yourself.)
8. Pick a character and a place from the lists below. Then write a scene. (You can pick two characters if you’d like)
Character: flying trapeze artist, retired military officer, single parent, pregnant teen, socially-awkward professor, one-armed woman
Place: dentist’s office, airplane, hiking trail, football game, fast food restaurant, side of the road
Also, I found this random word generating website. Might be helpful for a writing prompt.