Welcome to A Year of Writing, a podcast about writing, productivity and marketing. This is episode number nine, and today we’ll deep dive into the realm of writing prompts and writing exercises. We’ll explore how these tools can help spark your creativity, can help you improve your craft, and provide practical writing challenges. So grab a paper and pen and let’s embark on this creative adventure.
Writing exercises and prompts are an invaluable resource for writers at any stage of their writing journey. They can serve as a catalyst, pushing us out of our comfort zone and unlocking new adventures of creativity. And these exercises and prompts can help you break free from writer’s block, explore different genres, or simply enhance our skills. But where do we find them? And how do we make the most out of them?
The first step is to find writing prompts from a variety of different sources. When I look for writing prompts, I look online, I look in books, and I look on social media. There are so much inspiration out there for different writing exercises. Look for exercises that align with your writing goals and your style of writing. Remember that these exercises should challenge you while providing a source of enjoyment. And once you’ve collected a variety of writing exercises and prompts, it’s important that you keep an open mind before you start challenging yourself. Treat them like opportunities to experiment and play with your writing. And don’t take it too seriously. Just do it for fun. Embrace the process and don’t worry about perfection.
These exercises are designed to stretch your creativity muscles and are meant for you to be able to grow as a writer. So let’s explore some specific writing prompts and exercises that can help ignite your creativity. Remember, you can adapt these exercises to fit to your preferred writing style or genre.
Exercise number one is character exploration. So take a blank piece of paper and create a character that is the flip side of what you usually create, the complete opposite of your usual main character. Challenge yourself to step outside your comfort zone and delve into their motivation, and their backstory and quirks. And feel free to pause this episode until you’ve finished your character.
Exercise number two is setting switch up. Choose a familiar setting, like a coffee shop or a park, and reimagine it so that maybe it’s in a different time period or maybe it’s in the future. Flip it, switch it up, make it very different from how it usually is. Let your imagination run wild and describe what you see, what you can smell, what you can hear, maybe even what it tastes like. Try to make the reader really feel what this place feels like. What the atmosphere in this place? Use show, don’t tell. So try showing showing the atmosphere and showing the feel. Maybe it’s dangerous place or something, but show it and don’t tell me it’s a dangerous place. Show it by, I don’t know, presenting some characters, doing something weird in the corner or whatever.
Exercise number three is flash fiction challenge. What you do is you set a timer for ten minutes and try to write a complete story within those ten minutes. The constraint of time will force you to be very focused and push you to be very concise. You will have to focus on the essentials and experiment with different storytelling techniques.
Exercise number four is dialogue delight. And here I want you to write a dialogue between two people that have complete opposite viewpoints on a very controversial topic. Explore their perspectives, their emotions, and the dynamics between them. Use this exercise to develop your dialogue skills and deepen your understanding of conflicting viewpoints.
Another exercise that I really like to do when I sit down to start a writing session is flow writing, just writing whatever comes in mind, and set a timer for maybe just like three minutes. And if I don’t know what to write, I’ll just write: I don’t know what to write. I don’t know what to write. I don’t know what to write.
The reason why I like to start a writing session by doing this is the same as why I warm up before working out. It… I don’t know, it just gets my creative juices going, and it makes it a lot easier to start writing afterwards.
When you look for different writing exercises and different writing prompts, I also recommend that you look at what other people say are your writing strengths and your writing weaknesses are, and try to improve things that you know you need improving. So maybe I’m really good at writing dialogue, but I need to work on how to write flashbacks or how to write backstory. Then if that’s the case, then I go online and I look for writing exercises within that niche says I need to improve.
And these are just a few examples of numerous of writing exercises and prompts available for you. Remember that the goal is not only to complete the writing exercises, but to learn from them and to apply what you’ve learned into your writing projects.
That brings us to the end of this episode of A Year of Writing. I hope you enjoyed this episode on exercises and writing prompts. Aspiring writers and indie authors embrace these tools to unlock your creativity, challenge yourself, and continue to grow as a storyteller.
If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to subscribe to A Year Writing and join our community of passionate writers. Stay tuned for more valuable insights and practical tips writing exercises that will fuel your creativity. Thank you for joining me today. Until next time, keep writing, keep exploring, and let the power of writing exercises and writing prompts make you a better writer.