Story Writing Exercises 474: Thursday 30th October

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. When you’ve finished, do pop over to this blog’s Facebook Group and let everyone know how you got on.

474 cockpit 897053Below are the four – you can do them in any order.

  1. Keywords: brother, partner, special, Diane, forty
  2. Random: listening to the radio overseas
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. Mixed bag: trucker (character 1), waitress (ch.2), plate of spaghetti (object), 1950s diner (location), grumpy (trait), the food’s cold (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that it counts as being published so don’t post anything that you would want to submit elsewhere (where they require unpublished).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!


  • 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

I love to talk about writing so feel free to email me. My online writing group blogs and their associated Facebook groups are:

Morgen’s Online Non-Fiction Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Novel 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.


One thought on “Story Writing Exercises 474: Thursday 30th October

  1. Diane’s brother thought she was special. Her breasts filled every dress she wore and sometimes overflowed them. She moved in a waft of lavender and lust, both of which he breathed in avidly as if they’d both permeate his own body and bring success and sunshine to his lemon life. Diane was a sister to be cherished and protected for her late nights and laundry needs. She danced to the sound of the washing machine’s grind, twirled to the tumble of no-iron clothes that soon would take their turn in her wardrobe of possibilities.
    Families should begin with a boy and end with a tiny girl who learned from her brother, looking up adoringly and knowing her place. Diane was a first born, a fine eater, a first-footer, a woman with forty partners, whereas he, her younger brother had only one. But then, his appetite had always been poor.

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