Writing Exercises

Change the ending

Think back to a movie or book ending that you were dissapointed with. Rewrite the ending trying to keep the characters and situation consistent with the the original.

Dialogue

Find a place in which to listen to people conversing. This can be your home, a coffee shop, or a bus stop. Do try to find a place where you can write unobserved. Listen to the what people say as they are talking to one another for five minutes. Did they use complete sentences or fragments of sentences? What was their meaning and intent? Was there emotion behind what was said? What would you guess is the relationship of the speakers? Did the speakers use gestures? Can you capture this conversation on paper?

This can also be done while waiting in line somewhere - just not with paper. The point is to listen and observe.

5 minute exercise

Picture Exercise

1. Find a picture that stimulates or excites your imagination.
2. Study it for no longer than 5 mins.
3. Start to write about the picture. Think about the scenery, the people depicted. Who are they, what are they doing, why? How did they get there, where are they going? Describe them. Why do they wear their hair like that? Do those shiny boots mean something special to them? What are their names? What are they frowning/smiling at?
4. Keep going. Don't stop to think, but let the words flow out of you. It doesn't matter what you write at this stage, the idea is to just write. Don't wait until you know what you are going to say about a picture. Look at the picture closely, mentally note the smallest details, then write, write, write. Don't be afraid to start while your mind is still blank - it is the act of writing that generates ideas, not the other way around.
5. Usually after about 15 mins you will find ideas and thoughts coming out that you didn't know you had. This is the magic starting to work. Don't stop. Carry on and enjoy!

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