Saturday, September 21, 2013

Five great writing exercises

Hey YAtopians,

I've just started at teacher's college and I'm loving it! So far I've gained a healthy repertoire of writing exercises, some of which I wanted to share with you. Hope you find them useful!

1) Pick an instrumental/classical song and play it with your eyes closed. Immerse yourself in the song. Allow the song to start creating images in your mind. Think of a setting. Think of the senses it evokes. Now write this setting, describing every detail, from the smell to the colour. This is a good exercise for description writing.

2) Pop in a movie and find a random scene (or do the same on YouTube). This works best if the scene has characters in it. Now turn the volume all the way down and hit play. As the characters talk, fill in your own dialogue. You might have to watch it more than once to get it right. But it's as simple as that, and a great way to hone your dialogue-writing skills.

3) Flip through some magazines and find a couple advertisements with models in them. The stranger the better. Now get those creative juices flowing and come up with a bio for each of those characters. Go nuts with it-- their backgrounds, hobbies, families, jobs, fetishes, whatever! It's a useful way to get yourself thinking about character.

4) Open your newspaper and turn to a random page, then close your eyes and plant your finger on any spot. Whatever sentence you have your finger on, cut it in half and and an ellipse (...) to the end. Now, use that start of a sentence as a prompt for a free write. Finish the sentence however you wish and keep going. Don't stop moving your pen or fingers until a certain time limit (decide this before hand)

5) Think about the last time you were late to something or had to cancel plans. Now create a WHOPPER. What is a whopper? Well, a whopper is an excuse, but not just any excuse. It is the most elaborate, outlandish, unbelievable tall tale of an excuse you can come up with. Go all out!

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