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Writing Exercises – Creating Fiction and Exercising the Brain

I finally feel like I am making some headway with my novel re-write. This is thanks, in part, to my daughter doing a two-hour gym session every Saturday. It gives me the opportunity to sit down and write for a reasonable length of time without any interruptions. I’m 20,000 words in now, which is almost half way through and I feel a lot more positive about it than I did at the start.

Last week, I had great fun with a writing exercise. It was the Ten to One story and in case you missed it, I published my creation on the Friday Fiction post. The thing I like about the Ten to One story is the fact that it sets restrictive boundaries for the structure. Your first sentence must have ten words, your second nine, third eight etc. until you end up with one word for the last line. What goes inside this rigid structure is yours to create and I particularly enjoyed this combination.

In fact, I enjoyed this challenge so much, that I went in search of other similar writing exercises. There are tonnes of writing prompts and exercises on the internet, but here are some of the similar themed ones I found:

The Alphabet Story
Create a 26-line story where each line begins with a different consecutive letter of the alphabet, starting with A and ending with Z.

Noun and Verbs
On a sheet of paper, create two columns. In the first column, write down ten nouns and in the second column ten verbs. Pair them up at random and write a sentence for each pair. Then write a story using all ten sentences.

Take the 7th book from your bookshelf and open it to page 7. Find the 7th sentence of this page and begin a poem that starts with that sentence. Limit the poem to 7 lines.

What do you think to these? Do they grab your interest?

I am going to pick one of these and hopefully use it to create a fictional piece for my Friday Fiction slot. Does anyone want to join me?

I’m sharing this for What I’m Writing

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  1. J.C. Wolfe says

    Great ideas! The Alphabet Story is another exercise in the same book where I learned about Ten to One, but I haven’t yet tried it out. The others look like fun too! I should definitely give them a shot. Thanks for the ideas! 🙂

  2. maddy@writingbubble says

    I loved last week’s challenge and it really gave me a confidence boost to write something short and snappy – in fact, to write anything at all because I’d been feeling so creatively sluggish! I’m definitely up for one of these challenges. Can’t quite decide which. Alphabet or 7x7x7 I think… Thanks for sharing with #WhatImWriting. xx

  3. redpeffer says

    Oh, now this is interesting. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed with ideas and other’s it’s like a desert! I’m sure that most writers find this though, otherwise there’d be no need for all the various prompts out there. But these do look interesting and worth a try. My biggest problem is always time-I need a TARDIS 🙂

    • Nicola Young says

      You would never be short for prompts if you went looking for them, but I went in search of very specific writing exercises. Ones that weren’t completely open to interpretation. The challenge is to stick within the limits that they’ve set. It will be interesting to see where it goes.

  4. Morgan Prince says

    It’s great that you’re happy with your writing, I think it always takes a little progress to boost our confidence. I love the idea of those creative exercises, I must remember to try them.

  5. Chrissie@muddledms says

    well done on getting stuck in to your rewrite.
    The prompts sound like fun. I’m pretty dry right now so nothing is forthcoming, but I’m intrigued by the alphabet story (and I’ve taken a sneak peek at Maddy’s.)
    Are you still doing your writing group?


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