Writing Exercises

My first attempt at writing fiction was a small book about a duck when I was seven or eight years old. It was also my last attempt until two years ago. In 2010 two things happened: I joined a writing group and I bought a book of prompts for writing exercises.

The writing group, after brief announcements, begins their proceedings with a ten to fifteen minute writing exercise. The exercises have been, for me, an amazing impetus to writing fiction. Before I joined the group I had convinced myself that I had no imagination. I love to read fiction, which requires a good and active imagination, and some of that fiction has been fantasy which I consider to be fiction on steroids. I was sure there was no way I had the imagination to construct a fictional plot much less come up with believable fictional characters or dialog. The writing exercises did away with that thinking.

My first foray into the book produced two handwritten notebook pages of a fictional story based on five words. That story has now grown to become what will be a novel-length story. The idea of writing exercises became so popular with the writing group that we usually follow that format now. I’ve found that I can actually write very short stories with a beginning, middle and end with believable characters and dialog within the fifteen minutes allotted. In coming days I will be sharing some of the unedited products of these exercises .

One of the members of our group uses the 5-word exercise concept to get her writing restarted when she becomes stuck or is suffering writers’ block. She says it works.

Have you ever tried timed writing exercises? Tell me how it turned out.

 If you haven’t tried doing timed exercises would you like to try one now?

Get your writing materials ready, set a timer for fifteen minutes and use these words:      — counter   —   clog  —  buddy  —  spoon  —  smash

You can use the words in any order and adding endings (plural, -ed, -ing) are allowed. It would please me to see the results of your effort.


About torimcrae

Tori is a good writer aspiring to be a great writer. The mother of four adult kids she is currently pursuing postponed dreams. She enjoys her grandkids, traveling with hubby, spinning fiber, weaving, and raising Shih Tzus. Currently Tori posts to this blog on Mondays and Fridays.
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5 Responses to Writing Exercises

  1. Pingback: Congratulations to Alphonso, Prince of Spain. | Digital eBook Building and Formatting

  2. I see you have been given a blog award by Christi Corbett. That should get you back into the swim of things 🙂 Keep the faith and write on !!

  3. torimcrae says:

    Thanks for your encouragement. Now I just need to figure out what the blog award is all about. I want to thank you, and Christi and Careann, for all your support. The more I write the more I become excited about writing. I write to please myself, mostly, but having others support my writing makes the whole process even better.
    Tori McRae

  4. Hey there – thanks for following my blog! 😀 This seems like a great place 🙂

    I think writing exercises are great. I think they provoke lots of brilliant ideas (and what’s nice is that there are tons of interpretations), and writing a bit of flash fiction is a lot of fun for me and also they definitely help develop writing skills. It’s great to know how helpful they’ve been to you, because I was worried that other writers didn’t share the same love for writing exercises as I do!

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    ~ JLT

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