Story Writing Exercises 258: Thursday 26th December

Here are your four story exercises for today. Time yourself for 15 minutes for each one, then either have a break or move on to the next one.

258 venice b 558426You can do them in any order.

  1. Keywords: wishful, gift, pain, digging, moment
  2. Random: a dull day
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. Mixed bag: fake Santa (character 1), real elf (ch.2), parcel (object), department store (location), lying (trait), they know each other (dilemma)

Have fun, and if you would like to, do paste your writing in the comment boxes below so we can see how you got on! Remember though that it counts as being published so don’t post anything that you would want to submit elsewhere (where they require unpublished).

See below for explanations of the prompts, they do vary…

  • Sentence starts = what they say on the tin. You can start the beginning of the story with them or a later sentence but they’re a great way of kicking off.
  • Keywords = the words have to appear in the story but can be in any order and can be lengthened (e.g. clap to clapping).
  • One-word prompt = sometimes all it takes is one word to spawn an idea. Sometimes it easy, sometimes hard but invariably fun.
  • Mixed bag = two characters, an object, a location, a dilemma, a trait. Mix them all together and you have a plot… hopefully.
  • First person piece or monologue (a one-sided conversation).
  • Dialogue only = this is where you literally just write a conversation between two people. No ‘he said’, ‘she said’ or description, just speech and the reader has to be able to keep up. 🙂
  • Second-person = some of you will know that I champion. The prompt can be in any style but has to be written in second-person viewpoint… oh, what a hardship. 🙂
  • Title: This is the title of your story.
  • Picture prompts = nothing other than a picture. What does it conjure up?
  • Random = whatever takes my fancy!

Tips

  • Don’t forget your five senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, smell
  • Show don’t tell: if your character is angry, don’t tell us he is, have him thumping his fist on the table.
  • Colours: Include at least one colour in your story. It does add depth.
  • Use strong verbs and avoid adverbs: Have a character striding instead of walking confidently.
  • Only use repetition to emphasise.
  • When you’ve finished the first draft, read the story out loud. It’s surprising how many ‘mistakes’ leap out at you when you read out loud… assuming you have any of course!

Picture above courtesy of morguefile.com

I love to talk about writing so feel free to email me. I’ll be pasting these in this blog’s Facebook Group so you may find some other comments there. If you’d like to submit a story for critique on this site, see Submissions. The other critique writing groups are:

Morgen’s Online Non-Fiction Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Poetry Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Script Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Short Story Writing Group

Thank you for reading this and we look forward to your comments.

 

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One thought on “Story Writing Exercises 258: Thursday 26th December

  1. Leaving a beloved city—Paris, when I was 17 and was in the middle of my first love affair, and leaving both was almost too much to bear, My two-week Whitsun holiday had expired, along with my money. Back then the English were only allowed to take 20 pounds cash out of the country, but we had seen the Paris through a haze of Dubonnet cocktails, rode around the Place de La Opera with the top down, singing La Vie en Rose. Love was in the air, and it was spring for heaven’s sake, and to take the Air France flight back to dull old safe old England was seen with a breaking heart and a flood of tears, with my fountain pen leaking n my blazer pocke

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