Archives for Writing exercises

#WritingPrompt Writers’ BLOCKbusters… wardrobe

Imagination sluggish today? Here’s a quick writing prompt from Writers’ BLOCKbusters which should get you writing good stuff quickly. And you don’t have to leave the house to do it!Go to your wardrobe and pull out a jumper at random. Smell it, stroke the fabric, examine the weave, its seams. Put it on. Think about how it makes you feel. While you are wearing it, write 30 words. Now write a paragraph of action about something you do while wearing this jumper. Or, if you have an existing character, write a paragraph of action they do while wearing it. Use these two paragraphs as the basis for a longer exercise about your character. © ‘Writers’ BLOCKbusters’ by Sandra Danby Want more inspiration? Try these other writing prompts:- Were the Berries Edible? Wordstorm: Bronze Beware Danger from High Tides Beyond  What are ‘Writers’ BLOCKbusters’? I want to help you put words on the page. Those words won’t necessarily be the first line of your novel, or indeed anything to do with your novel, but they will be words to fill that intimidating blank space. And it couldn’t be quicker. Writers’ BLOCKbusters is a collection of three ebooks of writing prompts. Why are they
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Categories: On Writing, Writers' BLOCKbusters and Writing exercises.

#WritingPrompt Writers’ BLOCKbusters… harvest

Harvest… summer, mown, bounty, goodness, earth … Try this WORDstorm writing prompt from Writers’ BLOCKbustersto help you put the first word on the page today. Look at the three words below and, without thinking, write the next words that come into your mind. Write until you can think of no more words, you may have 10 words or 50. Allow the words to come into your mind without prompting, they will seem unrelated to each other. Now use these words as inspiration to move you onwards. You should find that your mind has taken you way beyond the subject of ‘harvest’ and that you write about a completely different subject. © ‘Writers’ BLOCKbusters’ by Sandra Danby Want more inspiration? Try these other writing prompts:- Cinnamon Grassy Waiting Beneath the Clock What are ‘Writers’ BLOCKbusters’? I want to help you put words on the page. Those words won’t necessarily be the first line of your novel, or indeed anything to do with your novel, but they will be words to fill that intimidating blank space. And it couldn’t be quicker. Writers’ BLOCKbusters is a collection of three ebooks of writing prompts. Why are they different? Precisely because they are short, easy to
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Categories: On Writing, Writers' BLOCKbusters and Writing exercises.

#WritingPrompt Writers’ BLOCKbusters… water

Try this writing prompt from Writers’ BLOCKbusters to get you started today. Go to the kitchen or bathroom and run a tap, letting the water run down the drain. Listen. Write down the first thing you think of. This might be a memory, an emotion, a sensation, a need. Turn these notes into a paragraph about a character who has no running water on tap in his/her home. © ‘Writers’ BLOCKbusters’ by Sandra Danby Want more inspiration? Try these other writing prompts:- Death Valley At This Mark on the Pavement Wordstorm: Dirt What are ‘Writers’ BLOCKbusters’? I want to help you put words on the page. Those words won’t necessarily be the first line of your novel, or indeed anything to do with your novel, but they will be words to fill that intimidating blank space. And it couldn’t be quicker. Writers’ BLOCKbusters is a collection of three ebooks of writing prompts. Why are they different? Precisely because they are short, easy to use, and flexible. Designed for writers of fiction, any genre, novels, short stories, flash fiction, they are suitable for all genre of fiction precisely because each exercise is based on a subject unrelated to whatever you are struggling with. I
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Categories: On Writing, Writers' BLOCKbusters and Writing exercises.

#WritingPrompt Writers’ BLOCKbusters… The Queen

Here’s a FlashPic writing prompt from Writers’ BLOCKbusters to get you started writing today. Study the photograph, then use the sentence below as the beginning of a new short story. “The light went on in the small window on the third floor, seven windows from the right, and he knew the Queen was awake. Same time as usual…” © ‘Writers’ BLOCKbusters’ by Sandra Danby Want more inspiration? Try these other writing prompts:- Freddie Mercury Toothpaste Beware, Danger from High Tides Beyond What are ‘Writers’ BLOCKbusters’? I want to help you put words on the page. Those words won’t necessarily be the first line of your novel, or indeed anything to do with your novel, but they will be words to fill that intimidating blank space. And it couldn’t be quicker. Writers’ BLOCKbusters is a collection of three ebooks of writing prompts. Why are they different? Precisely because they are short, easy to use, and flexible. Designed for writers of fiction, any genre, novels, short stories, flash fiction, they are suitable for all genre of fiction precisely because each exercise is based on a subject unrelated to whatever you are struggling with. I am not looking over your shoulder. Ebooks coming in 2019 at
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Categories: On Writing, Writers' BLOCKbusters and Writing exercises.

#WritingPrompt Writers’ BLOCKbusters… Freddie Mercury

Here’s a #FirstPara writing prompt from Writers’ BLOCKbusters to get you started writing today. Select a track by Queen, perhaps ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ or ‘Killer Queen’. Imagine Freddie Mercury, and a young couple with a new baby.“He was determined the baby should be called Freddie Mercury, she preferred Fitzwilliam.“ © ‘Writers’ BLOCKbusters’ by Sandra Danby Want more inspiration? Try these other writing prompts:- Were the Berries Edible? Beach Moon Rocks What are ‘Writers’ BLOCKbusters’? I want to help you put words on the page. Those words won’t necessarily be the first line of your novel, or indeed anything to do with your novel, but they will be words to fill that intimidating blank space. And it couldn’t be quicker. Writers’ BLOCKbusters is a collection of three ebooks of writing prompts. Why are they different? Precisely because they are short, easy to use, and flexible. Designed for writers of fiction, any genre, novels, short stories, flash fiction, they are suitable for all genre of fiction precisely because each exercise is based on a subject unrelated to whatever you are struggling with. I am not looking over your shoulder. Ebooks coming in 2019 at Amazon… Writers’ BLOCKbusters: #500 FirstParas Writers’ BLOCKbusters: #500 FlashPics Writers’
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Categories: On Writing, Writers' BLOCKbusters and Writing exercises.

#Writingprompt Writers’ BLOCKbusters… yogurt

On a day when the words are refusing to be friendly, try an exercise using something everyday around you. This writing prompt from Writers’ BLOCKbusters uses a pot of yogurt. Go to your fridge and find a pot of yogurt: any yogurt, any flavour, bits or no bits. If you haven’t got yogurt, anything creamy will do: cream, hummus, cream cheese, fromage frais or guacamole will all work just as well. Stick your [clean] fingers into the yogurt and close your eyes. Consider the sensations, remember your first reaction. Write down that reaction and use it as the opening sentence for a piece of free writing. Just go with the flow and write what occurs to you: single words, phrases, full sentences. This writing could be used to build a new character who has a thing about yogurt – a love, or a hatred. A character without a sense of taste. Someone tasting yogurt for the first time. © ‘Writers’ BLOCKbusters’ by Sandra Danby Want more inspiration? Try these other writing prompts:- Music Red Sign, Pedestrians Go Berries What are ‘Writers’ BLOCKbusters’? I want to help you put words on the page. Those words won’t necessarily be the first line of your
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Categories: On Writing, Writers' BLOCKbusters and Writing exercises.

#WritingPrompt Writers’ BLOCKbusters… toothpaste

Can’t get started writing? Try today’s writing prompt from my Writers’ BLOCKbusters collection. Go to the bathroom and take your tube of toothpaste, the type or brand doesn’t matter. Squeeze a little onto your tongue. Don’t swallow or chew, just let it sit there. Now close your eyes, and concentrate on the sensation.Write one word to describe each of the following:- –          Taste –          Texture –          Smell Now run your tongue over your teeth. Write down one word to describe how your teeth feel. For each word, write a sentence including that word. The sentences will be completely unrelated to each other. Choose one sentence, and use it as the beginning for a flash fiction story of 250 words. © ‘Writers’ BLOCKbusters’ by Sandra Danby Want more inspiration? Try these other writing prompts:- Looking Over the Parapet These Feet Were Made for Walking Moon Rocks  What are ‘Writers’ BLOCKbusters’? I want to help you put words on the page. Those words won’t necessarily be the first line of your novel, or indeed anything to do with your novel, but they will be words to fill that intimidating blank space. And it couldn’t be quicker. Writers’ BLOCKbusters is a collection of three
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Categories: On Writing, Writers' BLOCKbusters and Writing exercises.

#WritingPrompt Writers’ BLOCKbusters… coffee

Drinking your first cup of coffee this morning? Waiting for the caffeine to kick in before you start writing? While you’re waiting, try today’s writing prompt from Writers’ BLOCKbusters. Make a cup of coffee – any coffee, anywhere, black or white. Close your eye, hold the cup to your nose, and smell. Write the first five words you think of. For each word, write a sentence. Do it quickly, don’t over-think. You should have five sentences, completely unrelated from each other. For each sentence, write a paragraph. Choose one paragraph, and use it as the basis for a flash fiction story of 500 words. © ‘Writers’ BLOCKbusters’ by Sandra Danby Want more inspiration? Try these other writing prompts:- Wardrobe The Meaning of Purple Between the Train Seats What are ‘Writers’ BLOCKbusters’? I want to help you put words on the page. Those words won’t necessarily be the first line of your novel, or indeed anything to do with your novel, but they will be words to fill that intimidating blank space. And it couldn’t be quicker. Writers’ BLOCKbusters is a collection of three ebooks of writing prompts. Why are they different? Precisely because they are short, easy to use, and flexible. Designed for
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Categories: On Writing, Writers' BLOCKbusters and Writing exercises.

Writing Exercise – the five senses

When the imagination is sluggish, it sometimes pays dividends to take it by the hand and lead it towards creativity. This writing exercise has worked for me in the past. It can seem a little time-consuming when all you have to show for it at the end is a paragraph of text, but I have found the mini-brainstorms on the senses useful in other places. For example… SIGHT Blue sky – azure blue, the Maldives, a hot summer’s day, an icy winter’s day, white puffy clouds like cotton wool. A car park – red cars, blue cars, large and small, dirty and clean, cars for two people and cars for six, Polish man pushing a trolley ‘wash your car today?’, pennies for the parking ticket machine Waiting in line at the bus stop – schoolgirl with heavy bag of books eating a packet of crisps, an elderly lady with bulging plastic bags at her feet, a teenage boy in jeans sits on the bench playing a game on his mobile phone, a man in a blue uniform with a clipboard writes something down as the bus approaches Looking down a stairwell – floor after floor below, vertigo, more floors above, like being
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Categories: On Writing and Writing exercises.

Writing Exercise – using photographs

Using memory as a trigger for a story idea can work on a small or large scale. This story was written in 2002 and started as a writing exercise. I used an old photo-booth photograph of me one summer in the 1960s, aged about seven, wearing a heavy-knit Aran sweater. FRECKLES “Congratulations,” said the judge, the doctor’s wife, as she pinned the red rosette on the bridle. Red was for first. The horse hadn’t won the prize, its rider had. A skinny black-haired girl with very red lips wore a thin smile and an Annie Oakley costume complete with Stetson and chaps. She perched on top of the horse, too big to be hers, as if she were balancing on top of a barbed-wire fence. The stereo sound of sniffing emerged from fancy dress contestants to Annie’s left and right. The doctor’s wife walked quicker along the line of ponies, her thighs rubbing together. It was a hot, static sort of sound. “Well done.” The green rosette, green for second, was awarded to a chimney sweep whose father swept  chimneys. He was carrying his father’s brushes and wearing his father’s work trousers, rolled up at the ankles, black with coal
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Categories: Writing exercises.

Writing exercise: getting to know a new character

When I’m trying to get to know a new character, nothing works better for me than a writing exercise. If I’ve already got some plot ideas I will put them into a scene which may come in useful later, otherwise I think of my character exercises as investment pieces. If I don’t know where to start, I choose a day-to-day situation and begin there. Often I will give myself 20 minutes, sitting in a busy coffee shop and write longhand in my Muji notebook. The routine seems to help. Here are two I wrote earlier. I’m not sure what the future holds for Malcolm and Doreen. Doreen looped the pinny over her head and tied the strings at her back in a floppy bow, the edges of the apron stretched across her ample bosom. She glanced at her watch as she took it off and put it in a dry spot on the windowsill. 4.36pm. She only had 54 minutes before Malcolm would be home, 54 minutes to tidy up and cook his tea. She turned on the hot tap and tested the water with her fingers before squeezing in a 1p-sized blob of Fairy into the washing up bowl.
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Categories: Writing exercises.