Sunday, September 9, 2007

Writing Prompts and Exercises

When you just can't get the writing to flow, you need a push. Look to writing exercises to loosen up those creative muscles. Here are a few places to find starting points that don't require maudlin personal memories.

This list at e-ssortment gives you some creative ideas. I particularly liked the fist as an exercise for improving things you've already written. The third tip sounds like a good way to expand your vocabulary at the same time.

If mental vapor-lock commonly stops you from writing, wander over to Meredith Sue Willis's writing exercise page. She offers 109 exercises, ranging from a single beginning phrase or a photo to three paragraphs of set-up. You're sure to find something to inspire you.

Still struggling? Try The Blob's list of 70 writing prompts. Instead of being directive, most of these consist of a few words (or only one) intended to give you a nudge. Write about number 29, “A light source.” or number 46, “Something with wings you never considered as having wings before.”

With almost 200 places to start, you can work the kinks out of your brain before you get to the heavy lifting of writing for money. You may end up with something great that you can use for the same purpose. Even if you don't, exercise is good for you. Keep your brain from getting a fat behind!