Writing Activities

For a weekly prompt, visit the Wednesday Writing page!

Six Word Stories

Write a story – in six words!

The idea is inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s famous challenge, and his story: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

Find examples at Six Word Stories if you’re feeling stuck.

Six Word Stories – with a twist

For an added twist, write a six-word story using the word below…

Fanfiction challenge

Write a 100-word piece in the style of…

– Arthur Conan Doyle in Sherlock Holmes
– Terry Pratchett
– H.P. Lovecraft
– William Shakespeare
– Stieg Larsson

Alternatively, if you want a real challenge, visit the Terrible Crossover Fanfiction Idea Generator and write whatever it suggests!

Character Changes

Your character is eight years old. They are walking along and come across a dying bird on the ground. Write a paragraph about how they deal with this discovery.

Repeat the exercise, only now your character is 20.

Repeat the exercise, only now your character is 40.

Read back through your paragraphs and appreciate the way your character’s reactions have changed (or not). What has led to these changes?

The Alphabet Game

This is meant for poetry, but can also be used for short story writing. It’s very simple, you write the alphabet down a page, and then write a word for each letter of the alphabet. You then create a poem using as many of those words as possible. You can vary this by picking a theme for the words to follow, or by picking two words for each letter.

The Bucket

This takes a bit of time to make it work really well. You’ll need lots of scraps of paper and you need to write a word on each piece, then throw all of the pieces in to a bucket/bowl/jug/hat. Then when you want to write something but don’t know what, pull three or four pieces of paper out and write a story or poem incorporating all of the words you’ve pulled out. You can vary this by writing more than one word on each piece of paper, and even by writing fully formed ideas on the paper.

Wardrobe Whimsy

Go to your local charity shop and pick a wardrobe item that you’d never wear. It might be a hat, patterned scarf or a beaten up pair of shoes. Spend some time looking at this item until you come up with the name of a character that might wear it. Write this name in the centre of a piece of paper. Still with the item of clothing in front of you start building a spider diagram around the character name and see how much information you have after 10 minutes. This is really interesting to do in a writing group setting because everyone will have different ideas from the same prompt item.

The Dare Machine

And for a final challenge, visit the NaNoWriMo Page and try the Dare Machine (down the bottom).

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