Writing prompts / exercises


I’ve chattered previously about my craft exercises. It occurs to me that since I have a lot of followers who are also writers, that maybe you guys would find some of these helpful as well, so feel free to use them if you need a little kick-start to get the fingers warmed up in morning 🙂

I personally like to set time limits on them because if a clock is ticking I’m less likely to agonize and second guess myself, but feel free to ignore that part if it throws off  your groove.

Five Minute Prompts

  • Write about someone being afraid of a common thing
  • Write about someone being unafraid of a scary thing
  • Write the most flowery, rich sentence you possibly can. (This helps me just to get it out of my system so I don’t throw too many adjectives in my stories.)
  • List words and phrases that indicate that romance is on the way

Ten Minute Prompts

  • Dialog with a sleep-talker
  • Write an action-filled scene using only dialog (This was haaard for me! But ultimately pretty fun.)
  • Write only the first and last paragraph of a story. (I actually stole this prompt from my college writing teacher, Elizabeth Poliner. It’s kind of nice to play around with beginnings and endings without worrying about an actual plot.)
  • Description of a place through a blind person’s POV

Fifteen Minute Prompts

  • A villain reflecting on something they love
  • A fight scene where the main character is unfamiliar with the only weapon available.
  • Dialog – 2 people trying to communicate with no common language
  • Dialog – an argument where only one party realizes they are fighting.

Twenty Minute Prompts

  • Open a book randomly, write a story beginning with the first complete sentence on the page
  • Rewrite the same conversation in all four seasons (5 minutes per season)
  • Dialog – 3 distinct voices, no tags allowed. (Yeah, I know you can’t play the ‘no tags’ card too often in the real world, but the exercise really helps me hone in on what makes a pattern of speech distinctive.)
  • Description of the same weather by two different people.

 Candles 101114

So, yeah! Have at it. 🙂 Drop me a comment if the prompt doesn’t make sense, or if you found a cool way to alter it to make it more challenging. Also, I can totally post more of these if people find them helpful, so let me know if this is something you’d like to see again.

Happy writing!





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