5 Quick, Daily Exercises To Make You A Better Writer

Filed in Author Inspirations by on September 21, 2016 6 Comments

writing prompts

Reading and writing every day is the best way to sharpen your craft. What if you (like many people) don’t have time to sit down and write lengthy paragraphs on a daily basis? Or what if you need a little help with what to write? These quick and easy writing prompts and exercises are concise enough to do every day, but will give you that kick of imagination and inspiration you need for your next big writing project.

 

1.) Give It Life

Pick an inanimate object that you can see. It can be anything—a lamp, a knife, a picture frame, a highchair, a shoe, or a pencil. Now write a few lines from its perspective. What is its personality like? How does its everyday view affect it? What are its worries, its joys, its dreams? This could take a humorous spin, or become surprisingly introspective.

 

2.) Map It Out

If you are currently starting out a fictional project, think of your main character’s house. If you are beginning a memoir or are not working on anything specific, think of a house you grew up in or a place that was special to you (perhaps it was grandma’s house or your treehouse or the library). Draw a rough sketch of the place, and then label everything you can. Be specific, and think about what it says about the character (or you). If this was a special place to you as a child, how did that change the way you saw the furniture? What are the meanings behind these ordinary furnishings? What do they say about the person who lives there or goes there?

 

3.) Backstory

Pick out a stranger you have seen or met recently—the cable repairman, the woman behind you in line at the café, a child who passes you on the sidewalk. Describe them as specifically as you can using all five senses. Who are they to their loved ones? What have they been through that made them the way they are?

 

4.) The Other Side of the Story

Think of a story you know well. This could be a fairy tale, a movie, or a book you recently read. Pick someone other than the protagonist and write a paragraph from their perspective. How do they see the events? Can you flip it around the make the antagonist’s actions seem right? Or could the hapless sidekick really be the hero of the story?

 

5.) Letter List

This is super quick but will broaden your vocabulary to think of words you rarely use. Pick a letter, set a timer for three minutes, and write as many words as you can that start with that letter. Don’t think, just write. Keep writing until the timer goes off. We can too often get stuck in a rut of leaning on the same words over and over, but this will bring out some unexpected options. Keep the list and challenge yourself to include some in your next project.

 

With these exercises in your writing toolbox you will see how fun and easy it can be to train your craft. No matter what you are writing, it is good practice to uncork that inhibition to put words on paper. Be imaginative, lose the fear, and let the words flow.

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About the Author ()

With experience as an English literature teacher and freelance writer, Elaine brings her knack for revision to the editorial team. She started at the University of Central Florida in 2005, and she holds degrees in English Literature and Language Arts Education with an additional minor in writing. As a parenting blogger, she enjoys writing about her adventures with her toddler daughter and husband as they take advantage of living where the rest of the world vacations.

Comments (6)

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  1. avatar jim calocci says:

    thank you, thank you, thank you!

  2. avatar Rena says:

    I love your writing prompts ideas. These will definitely help me get my thoughts flowing.

  3. avatar Connie Ngware says:

    Oooh! You hit the nail on the head. No 5. is my weaknest point in creative writing, now i have an idea on how to sort it out. Thank you and be blessed

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