Tag Archives: craft exercises

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 🙂 Read the rest of this entry

Craft Exercises: Characters at different ages


Here’s another craft exercise of mine that got me thinking long after I carried on with my day…

The challenge was to write the same character at three very different ages (15 minutes, 5 minutes per age). Here’s the Tri-aged character that ended up on the page when I was done:


Mattie acted like a kid with blond hair, blue eyes, and freckles. By some cruel trick of the universe, however, he was born with raven hair and eyes darker than midnight and skin so pale it was nearly transparent in the wrong lighting. But if Mattie knew it was his job, genetically, to act dark and mysterious, he grievously misunderstood what those words meant. Read the rest of this entry

Craft Exercises: Lists


Here’s another of my craft exercises – one that I’m particularly fond of because it’s more of a crazy little sprint than anything else. Nothing matters except ideas. It’s actually one of my repeatable cards, meaning that when I pull it out of the bag, I put it right back in.

The assignment is to choose a topic and list as many things as I can within ten minutes. I actually started doing this one because of a similar exercise in an acting class. (Which, by the way, was all kinds of fun. Mostly for the people I got to hang out with. Theater people just kind of glow with awesome.) The acting exercise was to choose two lines of dialog that sum up the essence of the monologues we were learning. Then we had to repeat those same lines over and over and over until the teacher told us to stop.  Read the rest of this entry

Craft Exercises: Showing Emotions


Somewhere in the chaos that is my writing space, I have little bags of green cards. These are writing exercises that I create for myself. When I’m reading, or writing, or editing and I come across something that could use a little more practice, I create a little prompt to help develop that skill, chose a target length of time for the prompt (5, 10, 15, or 20 minutes), then put them in the bags and carry on with my day.

Part B of this endeavor (which doesn’t happen nearly as often as it should) is that I choose a card randomly from the bags and complete the exercise. Now, given that these are all trouble-areas with me, many of the attempts are pretty unfortunate. The card goes back in the bag if I don’t think I’ve really accomplished the goal. But the exciting part is that when I scroll through the big document where I collect the exercises, I see improvement. Nothing (in the whole world, ever!) is better than seeing improvement. Read the rest of this entry