All creatives (musicians, artists, and dancers) practice their skills–writers should as well. And they can do that by incorporating writing exercises into their every day routine. This will help them sharpen their ability and tell a better story. I’ve listed five exercises below, but there are more online.
- Take a blank sheet and start freewriting. Just write whatever comes to mind. Don’t stop to edit or think about what you’re writing. Let your brain lead as your hands write.
- Take a scene from a favorite book or movie and change the point of view or timeline so that you’re retelling the story. Use a secondary character to describe the action happening to the main character. If the story is set in contemporary times, change it to the wild west, or the medieval period. How does the story change? How does the different time change what happens?
- Use a writing prompt (a sentence or short passage) as a springboard to create a new story.
- Write a short story using 75-2000 words (flash fiction). Use the same elements as you would a longer story, giving it a beginning, a middle and an ending. Develop a main character and write the piece around them. Because you’re limited in your word count, choose a conflict and start in the middle of the action. You can reveal a back story as you go along. In the end, resolve the problem and present a character change that will complete your piece and make it a story.
- Make someone else’s story your own. Use a story that someone else has told you or that you read; and write it as if it happened to you. What details would you include? How would you feel?
Not a whole time is needed on these or any exercises, but the more practice a writer can devote to practice, the better a writer they will become.
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