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✍️ 100+ Creative Writing Exercises for Fiction Authors

This curated directory of creative writing exercises was conceived thanks to a collaboration between the top writing blogs of 2024. Use the filters to find and practice specific techniques — and show that blank page who’s boss!

We found 119 exercises that match your search 🔦

The Hammer and the Hatchet

A stranger walks into the general store and buys a hammer, a hatchet, some rope, and an apple. What does he do with them?

Writer's Block

Picket fence.

Describe your house - or the dream house you hope to get some day.

Telephone Directory

It is commonly known that a telephone directory might be the most boring text in the entire world. Here is your challenge: write a page of a telephone directory and figure out SOME way to make it interesting.

creative writing worksheets for writers

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Pick a fiction book from your shelf. Go to page eight and find the eighth sentence on the page. Start with that sentence and write an eight-line poem that connects in some way to your work-in-progress. For instance, write from the POV of a character, or set the poem in a story setting. Don't worry about poetry forms. Just write eight lines of any length that flow and explore some aspect of character, setting, or theme.

  • Why are you grumpy? I have a hangover.
  • Why do you have a hangover? My friend was in a bad accident and I thought he might die?
  • Why did you think he might die? His girlfriend lied to me about how serious the accident was.
  • Why did she lie about that? She's jealous of our relationship.
  • Why? I think she's insecure and has trust issues.

Character Development

The ellen degeneres show.

A talk show is scripted to promote the guest and discuss topics with which the guest is comfortable. Imagine your protagonist on the Ellen Degeneres Show (or The Late Show With Stephen Colbert - whichever show you're familiar with). What questions would be asked of your protagonist? What funny anecdotes would your protagonist share? Write down the reactions of both your protagonist and the host.

  • You could say it began with a phone call."
  • Michael had watched them both for weeks."
  • She remembered the way it was the first time she saw the prison."
  • Midsummer, no time to be in New Orleans."
  • With the dawn came the light."

Thank you to all our contributors: Almost An Author, Alyssa Hollingsworth, Anne R. Allen, Bang2Write, Christopher Fielden, Darcy Pattinson, Elizabeth S. Craig, Flogging The Quill, Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips, Helping Writers Become Authors, Katie McCoach, Lauren Carter, Insecure Writer’s Support Group, Mandy Wallace, NaNoWriMo, Nail Your Novel, Novel Publicity, One Stop For Writers, Pro Writing Aid, PsychWriter, re:Fiction, The Journal, The Writer’s Workshop, Well-Storied, Women On Writing, writing.ie, Writing-World.com!

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43 Creative Writing Exercises

Creative writing exercises for adults

A selection of fun creative writing exercises that can be completed solo, or with a group. Some are prompts to help inspire you to come up with story ideas, others focus on learning specific writing skills.

Table of contents

A note on running exercises remotely

A letter from your character to you, the opening sentence, make your protagonist act, overcoming writer's block, writing character arcs, sewing seeds in your writing, giving feedback to authors, the five senses, show don't tell, world building.

Easy gossiping exercise

Degrees of Emotion Game

Three birds, one line, blind date on valentine's day (exercise for adults), a success (works best for online groups), your dream holiday, time travel - child, adult, senior, focus on faces.

Onomatopeai, rhyme and alliteration

The alphabet story - creating a story as a group

A question or two, murder mystery game, the obscure movie exercise, how to hint at romantic feelings, a novel idea, creative writing prompts, creative story cards / dice, alternative christmas story, murder mystery mind map.

New Year's resolutions for a fictional character

Stephen King - Using verbs & nouns in fiction

It's the end of the world

Other Content:

7 Editing exercises  (for your first draft)

How to run the writing exercises

I run a  Creative Writing Meetup  for adults and teens in Montpellier or online every week. We start with a 5 to 20 minute exercise, followed by an hour and a half of silent writing, during which each participant focuses on their own project. Every exercise listed below has been run with the group and had any kinks ironed out.  Where the exercises specify a number of people, if you have a larger group, simply split everyone up into smaller groups as appropriate.

The solo exercises are ideal to help stimulate your mind before working on a larger project, to overcome writer’s block, or as stand-alone prompts in their own right. If a solo exercise inspires you and you wish to use it with a larger group, give every member ten minutes to complete the exercise, then ask anyone who wishes to share their work to do so in groups of 3 or 4 afterwards.

Looking for something quick to fire your imagination? Check out these  creative writing prompts for adults .

While you can enjoy the exercises solo, they are also designed for online writing groups using Zoom, WhatsApp, or Discord.

If you're running a group and follow a ' Shut Up and Write ' structure, I recommend connecting on WhatsApp (for example) first, doing the exercise together, sharing writing samples as needed. Next, write in silence for an hour and a half on your own projects, before reconnecting for a brief informal chat at the end. This works great with small remote groups and is a way to learn new techniques, gain online support, and have a productive session.

If you have a larger online group, it's worth looking into Zoom, as this has a feature called  Breakout Rooms . Breakout Rooms let you split different writers into separate rooms, which is great for group activities. The free version of Zoom has a 40 minute limit, which can be restrictive, but Zoom Pro is well worth it if you're going to use it on a regular basis. In my experience, Zoom has a better connection than Facebook chat or WhatsApp.

Letter from fictional character to the author

Spend ten minutes writing a letter from a character in your novel to  you , the author, explaining why you should write about them. This serves three purposes:

  • As you write, it helps you get into the mindset of the character. Ask yourself how they would language this letter and what they would consider important.
  • It's motivating to know that your character wants you to write about them.
  • If your goal is to publish a complete work of fiction one day, whether it be a novel, a play or a movie script, you will want to contact an agent or publisher. This helps you practice in an easy, safe way.

If you're doing this exercise with a group of teens or adults, and some of the group haven't already started working on their masterpiece, they can instead choose any fictional novel they love. Ask participants to imagine that a character within the book wrote to the author in the first place to ask them to write their story. How did they plead their case?

First sentence of books

The opening sentence has to grab the reader's attention and make them want to keep reading. Many authors achieve this by starting with an action scene. In modern literature, it's best to avoid starting with someone waking up, or a description of the weather. In this exercise the task is to write an opening sentence either to a book you're currently writing, or simply for an imaginary piece of literature.  Here are some of my favourite opening sentences to get you going:

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

George Orwell , 1984

The Golem's life began in the hold of a steamship.

Helene Wecker , The Golem and the Djinni

All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

Leo Tolstoy , Anna Karenina

It wasn't a very likely place for disappearances, at least at first glance.

Diana Gabaldon , Outlander

You better not never tell nobody but God.

Alice Walker , The Color Purple

The cage was finished.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez ,  Balthazar’s Marvelous Afternoon

Imagine that you are living your life out of order: Lunch before breakfast, marriage before your first kiss.

Audrey Niffenegger ,  The Time Traveler's Wife

Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.

Douglas Adams ,  The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

There are a plethora of ways you can start a book, however two ways that help engage the reader immediately are:

  • Set the scene in as few words as possible, so the reader immediately knows what's happening and wants to know what happens next.  The scene must be original and create a vivid image in the reader's mind.
  • Surprise the reader with an unusual event or usual point of view.

Spend 5 minutes working on your own opening sentence, then share it with the other participants.

Exercise for 2 writers, or can be done solo.

Make your characters act

According to John Gardner:

"Failure to recognise that the central character must act, not simply be acted upon, is the single most common mistake in the fiction of beginners."

Spend 5 minutes writing a scene where the protagonist is passive in a conversation with one other character. It could be that the other character says something dramatic, and the protagonist just listens, or it could be anything else of your choice!

Once the 5 minutes is up, swap papers with another writer. If you're using Zoom, or working online, send it to each other in a private chat. Now the other person spends 8 minutes rewriting the scene to make the protagonist as active as possible. This might include:

Read both scenes together. Which makes you want to keep on reading?

If you're doing this as a solo writing exercise, simply complete both parts yourself.

  • Showing the emotion this evokes.
  • Getting them to disagree with the other character.
  • Showing how they respond physically (whether it's as a physical manifestation of how they feel, or a dramatic gesture to make a point).

Overcoming writer's block

Are you staring at a blank page or stuck for any story ideas? This exercise will help anyone who's experiencing writer's block with a particular piece of writing. If this isn't you, that's great, others will value your input!

If anyone has a particular scene they're stuck with (a pool of blood on the floor they have no explanation for, a reason why the rich lady just walked into a particular pub, etc.) then at the start of the exercise everyone briefly describes their scenes (if working online with a large group, typing it into the chat might be best). Everyone then chooses one scene to use as a writing prompt to write a short story for 10-15 minutes.

Afterwards, split into small groups if necessary, and read out how you completed someone else's writing prompt. As everyone listens to everyone else's ideas, this can be a wonderful source of inspiration and also improves your writing. As an alternative solo exercise, try free writing. With free writing, simply write as quickly as you can on the topic without editing or censoring yourself - just let your creative juices flow. If you're not sure what happens next, brainstorm options on the page, jot down story ideas, or just put, "I don't know what happens next." Keep going and ideas will come.

Character arc

There are several different types of character arc in a novel, the 3 most common being:

For this exercise choose either a positive or negative character arc. Spend 8 minutes writing a scene from the start of a novel, then 8 minutes writing a scene towards the end of a novel showing how the character has developed between the two points. Don't worry about including how the character has changed, you can leave that to the imagination.

The point here is to capture the essence of a character, as they will be the same, but show their development.

  • Positive  - Where a character develops and grows during the novel. Perhaps they start unhappy or weak and end happy or powerful.
  • Negative  - Where a character gets worse during a novel. Perhaps they become ill or give in to evil tendencies as the novel progresses.
  • Flat  - In a flat character arc the character themself doesn't change much, however the world around them does. This could be overthrowing a great injustice, for example.

Sewing seeds in writing

In this exercise, we will look at how to sew seeds. No, not in your garden, but in your story. Seeds are the tiny hints and indicators that something is going on, which influence a reader's perceptions on an often unconscious level. They're important, as if you spring a surprise twist on your readers without any warning, it can seem unbelievable. Sew seeds that lead up to the event, so the twists and turns are still surprising, but make intuitive sense. Groups : Brainstorm major plot twists that might happen towards the end of the novel and share it in a Zoom chat, or on pieces of paper. Choose one twist each. Individuals : Choose one of the following plot twists:   -  Your friend is actually the secret son of the king.   -  Unreliable narrator - the narrator turns out to be villain.   -  The monster turns out to be the missing woman the narrator is seeking.   -  The man she is about to marry happens to already have a wife and three kids.

Write for ten minutes and give subtle hints as to what the plot twist is. This is an exercise in subtlety. Remember, when the twist occurs, it should still come as a surprise.

Animal exercise

This is a fun writing activity for a small group. You’ve found a magic potion labelled ‘Cat Chat’ and when you drink it, you turn into whichever animal you’re thinking about; but there’s a problem, it also picks up on the brainwaves of other people near you!

Everyone writes down an animal in secret and then reveals it to the other writers.  The spell will turn you into a creature that combines elements of all the animals.  Each person then spends 5 minutes writing down what happens when they drink the potion.

After the 5 minutes is up, everyone shares their story with the other participants.

If you enjoy this exercise, then you may also want to check out our  Fantasy and Sci-Fi writing prompts  full of world building, magic, and character development prompts..

I remember

Joe Brainard wrote a novel called:  I Remember It contains a collection of paragraphs all starting with “I remember”.  This is the inspiration for this exercise, and if you’re stuck for what to write, is a great way to get the mental gears turning.  Simply write “I remember” and continue with the first thing that pops into your head.

Spend 5 minutes writing a short collection of “I remember” stories.

Here are a couple of examples from Joe Brainard’s novel:

“I remember not understanding why people on the other side of the world didn't fall off.”

“I remember waking up somewhere once and there was a horse staring me in the face.”

Giving constructive feedback to authors

If you're running a workshop for more experienced adult authors and have at least an hour, this is a good one to use. This is the longest exercise on this page, but I felt it important enough to include.

Give each author the option to bring a piece of their own work. This should be double spaced and a maximum of 3 pages long. If you're running a workshop where not everyone is likely to bring a manuscript, ask everyone who wants to bring one to print two copies each. If someone forgets but has a laptop with them, the reader can always use their laptop.

Print out a few copies and hand them around to everyone in the workshop of the guide on: 'How to give constructive feedback to writers'

Each author who brought a sample with them then gives them to one other person to review. They write their name on the manuscript in a certain colour pen, then add any comments to it before passing it to a second person who does the same (commenting on the comments if they agree or disagree).

Then allow 5 minutes for everyone to discuss the feedback they've received, ensuring they are giving constructive feedback.

Giovanni Battista Manerius - The Five Senses

Painting by Giovanni Battista Manerius -  The Five Senses

Choose a scene and write it for 5 minutes focusing on one sense, NOT sight. Choose between:

Hearing  Taste Smell Touch

This can be internal as well as external (I heard my heartbeat thudding in my ears, or I smelt my own adrenaline).

After the 5 minutes stop and everyone reads it out loud to each other. Now write for another 5 minutes and continue the other person's story, but do NOT use sight OR the sense they used.

You can use any sense to communicate the essentials, just focus on creating emotions and conveying the story with the specific sense(s).

If you need some writing prompts, here are possible scenes that involve several senses:

  • Climbing through an exotic jungle
  • Having an argument that becomes a fight
  • A cat's morning
  • Talking to someone you're attracted to

2 or 3 people

Show don't tell your story

A lot of writing guides will advise you to, "Show, don't tell". What does this actually mean?

If you want to evoke an emotional reaction from your reader, showing them what is happening is a great way to do so.  You can approach this in several ways:

Split up into pairs and each person writes down a short scene from a story where they "tell" it.  After this, pass the description of the scene to your partner and they then have 5 minutes to rewrite it to "show" what happened.  If there are an odd number of participants, make one group of three, with each person passing their scene clockwise, so everyone has a new scene to show.  After the 5 minutes, for small groups everyone reads their new description to everyone else, or for large groups, each person just reads their new scene to their partner.

  • Avoid internal dialogue (thinking), instead have your protagonist interact with other people, or have a physical reaction to something that shows how s/he feels.  Does their heart beat faster?  Do they notice the smell of their own adrenaline?  Do they step backwards, or lean forwards?
  • Instead of using an adjective like creepy, e.g. "Mary entered the creepy house", show why the house is creepy through description and in the way the protagonist responds - "The light streamed through the filthy skylight, highlighting the decomposing body of a rat resting on top of it.  As Mary stepped inside, she felt a gust of freezing air brush past her. She turned, but there was nothing there..."

Visual writing prompts

World building is the art of conveying the magic of living in a different world, whether it's a spaceship, a medieval castle, a boat, or simply someone's living room. To master world building, it's not necessary to know every intricate detail, rather to convey the experience of what it would be like to live there.

Choose one of the above images as a prompt and spend 10 minutes writing a scene from the perspective of someone who is seeing it for the first time. Now, move your character six months forward and imagine they've spent the last six months living or working there. Write another scene (perhaps with an additional character) using the image as a background, with the events of the scene as the main action.

Click the above image for a close-up.

Gossiping about a character as if they're a friend.

Easy to gossip with friends about a character

Judy Blume says that she tells her family about her characters as if they’re real people. 

Chris Claremont said, "For me, writing the 'X-Men' was easy - is easy. I know these people, they're my friends." 

Today’s exercise has 2 parts. First, spend 5 minutes jotting down some facts about a character you’ve invented that might come up if you were telling your friends about them. Either choose a character in something you’ve already written, or invent one from scratch now.

Answer the questions:

What are they up to? How are they? What would you say if you were gossiping about them?

Then split up into groups of 4 to 6 writers. 2 volunteers from each group then role-play talking about their character as if they were a friend (perhaps another character in the story).  The other participants will role-play a group of friends gossiping about the character behind their back and ask questions. If you don’t know the answer, invent it!

Degrees of emotion

This is based on an acting game, to help actors understand how to perform with different degrees of emotion.

Ask everyone to write the following 4 emotions:

For groups of 5 or less, write down numbers starting with 1 and going up until everyone has a number, then give them out in order. For groups of 6 or more, divide groups into 3's, 4's or 5's.

Each person has to write a scene where the protagonist is alone and is only allowed to say a single word, e.g. "Banana".  The writer with number 1 should write the scene with a very low level of the emotion (e.g. happiness), number 2 increases the intensity a bit and the highest number writes a scene with the most intense emotion you can possibly imagine.

Once each writer has written about happiness, rotate the numbers one or two spaces, then move onto anger, then fear, then sadness.

It can help to give everyone numbers showing the intensity of the emotions to write about at the start of the exercise, in which case you may wish to print either the Word or PDF file, then use the ones corresponding to 3, 4 or 5 writers.

PDF

Everyone shares their scene with the other course participants.

Kill three birds with one stone

The first paragraph of a surprising number of best-selling novels serves multiple purposes. These are to:

  • Establish a goal
  • Set the scene
  • Develop a character

Nearly every chapter in a novel also serves all three purposes. Instead of establishing a goal though, the protagonist either moves towards it, or encounters an obstacle that hinders them from achieving it.

Some books manage to meet all three purposes with their opening lines, for example:  

Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.

J.K. Rowling ,  Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone  

A little more than one hundred days into the fortieth year of her confinement, Dajeil Gelian was visited in her lonely tower overlooking the sea by an avatar of the great ship that was her home.

Iain M. Banks ,  Excession  

"We should start back," Gared urged as the woods began to grow dark around them.

George R.R. Martin ,  A Game of Thrones

For this exercise write a sentence or short paragraph that serves all three purposes. If you're already writing a novel, then see if you can do this for the first line in a chapter. If not, choose any combination from the following table:

Valentine's Day Book

In pairs one writer spends a minute or two describing a character they're writing about, or alternatively they can describe a celebrity or someone from a work of fiction.  The next writer then describes their character.

The story is that these 2 characters (or in my case, person and alien, as I'm writing a sci-fi) have accidentally ended up on a blind date with each other. Perhaps the waiter seated them in the wrong location, perhaps it's an actual blind date, or perhaps they met in some other fashion the writers can determine.

Now spend 10 minutes discussing what happens next!

Winning a race

This exercise works best for online groups, via Zoom, for example.  The instructions to give are:

"In a few words describe a success in your life and what it felt like to achieve it. It can be a small victory or a large one."

Share a personal example of your own (mine was watching my homeschooled sons sing in an opera together).

"Once you have one (small or large), write it in the chat.

The writing exercise is then to choose someone else's victory to write about for 10 minutes, as if it was the end of your own book.

If you want to write for longer, imagine how that book would start. Write the first part of the book with the ending in mind."

This is great for reminding people of a success in their lives, and also helps everyone connect and discover something about each other.

Dream holiday in France

You’re going on a dream holiday together, but always disagree with each other. To avoid conflict, rather than discuss what you want to do, you’ve decided that each of you will choose a different aspect of the holiday as follows:

  • Choose where you’ll be going – your favourite holiday destination.
  • Choose what your main fun activity will be on the holiday.
  • Decide what mode of travel you’ll use to get there.
  • If there’s a 4 th  person, choose what you’ll eat on the holiday and what you’ll be wearing.

Decide who gets to choose what at random. Each of you then writes down your dream holiday destination/activity/travel/food & clothes in secret.  Next spend 5 minutes discussing your dream holiday and add any other details you’d like to include, particularly if you’re passionate about doing something in real life.

Finally, everyone spends another 5 minutes writing down a description of the holiday, then shares it with the others.

Writing haiku

A haiku is a traditional Japanese form of non-rhyming poetry whose short form makes it ideal for a simple writing exercise.

They are traditionally structured in 3 lines, where the first line is 5 syllables, the second line is 7 syllables, and the third line is 5 syllables again. Haiku tend to focus on themes of nature and deep concepts that can be expressed simply.

A couple of examples:

A summer river being crossed how pleasing with sandals in my hands! Yosa Buson , a haiku master poet from the 18 th  Century.

And one of mine:

When night-time arrives Stars come out, breaking the dark You can see the most

Martin Woods

Spend up to 10 minutes writing a haiku.  If you get stuck with the 5-7-5 syllable rule, then don’t worry, the overall concept is more important!

See  How to write a haiku  for more details and examples.

Writing a limerick

Unlike a haiku, which is profound and sombre, a limerick is a light-hearted, fun rhyming verse.

Here are a couple of examples:

A wonderful bird is the pelican. His bill can hold more than his beli-can He can take in his beak Food enough for a week But I'm damned if I see how the heli-can.

Dixon Lanier Merritt, 1910

There was a young lady named Bright, Whose speed was far faster than light; She started one day In a relative way, And returned on the previous night.

Arthur Henry Reginald Buller in  Punch,  1923

The 1 st , 2 nd  and 5 th  line all rhyme, as do the 3 rd  and 4 th  line.  The overall number of syllables isn’t important, but the 3 rd  and 4 th  lines should be shorter than the others.

Typically, the 1 st  line introduces the character, often with “There was”, or “There once was”. The rest of the verse tells their story.

Spend 10 minutes writing a limerick.

Adult time travel

Imagine that your future self as an old man/woman travels back in time to meet you, the adult you are today.  Alternatively, you as a child travels forward in time to meet yourself as an adult.  Or perhaps both happen, so the child you, adult you, and senior you are all together at the same time.  In story form write down what happens next.

Participants then share their story with other writers either in small groups, or to the whole group.

Solo exercise

Describing a character

One challenge writers face is describing a character. A common mistake is to focus too much on the physical features, e.g. "She had brown eyes, curly brown hair and was five foot six inches tall."

The problem with this is it doesn't reveal anything about the character's personality, or the relationship between your protagonist and the character. Your reader is therefore likely to quickly forget what someone looks like.  When describing characters, it's therefore best to:

  • Animate them - it's rare that someone's sitting for a portrait when your protagonist first meets them and whether they're talking or walking, it's likely that they're moving in some way.
  • Use metaphors or similes  - comparing physical features to emotionally charged items conjures both an image and a sense of who someone is.
  • Involve your protagonist  - if your protagonist is interacting with a character, make it personal.  How does your protagonist view this person?  Incorporate the description as part of the description.
  • Only give information your protagonist knows  - they may know if someone is an adult, or a teenager, but they won't know that someone is 37 years old, for example.

Here are three examples of character descriptions that leave no doubt how the protagonist feels.

“If girls could spit venom, it'd be through their eyes.” S.D. Lawendowski,  Snapped

"And Ronan was everything that was left: molten eyes and a smile made for war." Maggie Stiefvater,  The Dream Thieves

"His mouth was such a post office of a mouth that he had a mechanical appearance of smiling." Charles Dickens

Spend 5 minutes writing a character introduction that is animated, uses metaphors or similes and involves your protagonist.

If working with a group, then form small groups of 3 or 4 and share your description with the rest of the group.

Onomatopeai, rhyme and alliteration

Onomatopeai, rhyme or alliteration.

Today's session is all about sound.

Several authors recommend reading your writing out loud after you've written it to be sure it sounds natural.   Philip Pullman  even goes as far as to say:

"When I’m writing, I’m more conscious of the sound, actually, than the meaning. I know what the rhythm of the sentence is going to be before I know what the words are going to be in it."

For today's exercise, choose the name of a song and write for 10 minutes as if that's the title for a short story. Focus on how your writing sounds and aim to include at least one onomatopoeia, rhyme or alliteration.  At the end of the 10 minutes, read it out loud to yourself, or to the group.

Alliterations

An alliteration example from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”

The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew, The furrow followed free; We were the first that ever burst Into that silent sea.

Onomatopoeias

Buzz, woof, quack, baa, crash, purr, beep, belch,...

alphabet story

This is a novel way to write a story as a group, one word at a time.  The first person starts the story that begins with any word starting with “A”, the next person continues the story with a word starting with “B”, and so on.

Keep going round until you have completed the alphabet.  Ideally it will all be one sentence, but if you get stuck, start a new sentence.  Don’t worry if it doesn’t make complete sense!

It can be tricky to remember the alphabet when under pressure, so you may wish to print it out a couple of times, so the storytellers can see it if they need to, this is particularly helpful if you have dyslexics in the group.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Here’s an example of an alphabet story:

A Band Can Dance Each Friday, Ghostly Hauntings In Jail Kill Lucky Men, Nobody Or Perhaps Quiet Rats, Still That Unifies Villains Who X-Ray Your Zebras.

As I mentioned, it doesn’t need to make sense!

Small or large groups

1 or 2 questions

The standard format in our group is a short writing exercise followed by an hour and a half of silent writing on our projects.

At one point I felt like we'd done a lot of small group exercises, and wanted to gain an insight into what everyone was working on, so we did the following exercise instead:

Go round the table and ask everyone to briefly talk about their writing.  Each person then asks one or two yes/no questions.

Everyone responds either by raising their hand for 'yes' or shaking their heads for 'no'. You can also leap up and down to indicate a very strong 'yes'.

Questions can be about anything, and you can use them either to help guide your writing or to help find other people in the group who have similar interests.

Here are some random examples you might ask:

  • I want to write a romance novel and am considering setting it in Paris, a traditional romantic setting, or Liverpool which is a less obvious setting. Who thinks Liverpool would be best?
  • I need to know more about the life of a farmer. Has anyone got farming experience who I can interview in exchange for a drink?
  • My character gets fired and that night goes back to his office and steals 35 computers. Does that sound realistic as the premise of a story?

This works best when you give participants some advance notice, so they have time to think of a question.

Groups of 3 or 4

Murder mystery

This exercise takes 20-30 minutes and allows participants to create a murder mystery outline together.

Phase 1 (3 minutes)

  • Split into groups of 3 or 4
  • Decide as a group where the murder occurs (e.g. the opera house, a bar, a casino)
  • Decide one person who will write the details of the victim and the murder itself.  Everyone else writes the details of one suspect each.
  • The ‘victim author’ then invents a few extra details about the scene of the crime, who the victim was (a teenage punk, an adult opera singer, etc.) and the murder weapon and summarises this to the others.

Phase 2 (10 minutes)

Each person then writes a police report as if they are either describing the scene of the crime, or recording the notes from their interview with a single suspect:

Write the following:

  • 1 line description of the victim.
  • When they were last seen by a group of witnesses (and what they were doing).
  • How the murder occurred in more detail based on the evidence available.

Write the following (from the perspective of the investigator):

  • 1 line description of the suspect
  • What they said during the interview (including what they claim to have doing when the murder occurs).
  • A possible motivation (as determined by the police from other witnesses).

Phase 3 (5 minutes)

  • Each person reads out their police reports to the other members of their small group
  • As a group, decide who the murderer was and what actually happened

See more ideas on  creating murder mystery party games

Obscure movie

Pick a famous movie and spend 5 minutes writing a scene from it from an unusual perspective.  Your aim is to achieve a balance between being too obscure and making it too obvious.  Feel free to add internal dialogue.

At the end of the 5 minutes, everyone reads their movie scene to the others and all the other participants see if they can guess what the movie is.

How to hint at romantic feelings

Write a scene with two people in a group, where you hint that one is romantically interested in the other, but the feelings aren’t reciprocated.

The goal of this exercise is to practice subtlety. Imagine you are setting a scene for the future where the characters feelings will become more important. Choose a situation like a work conference, meeting with a group of friends, etc. How do you indicate how the characters feel without them saying it in words?

Some tips for hinting at romantic feelings:

  • Make the characters nervous and shy.
  • Your protagonist leans forward.
  • Asks deeper questions and listens intently.
  • Finds ways to be close together.
  • Mirrors their gestures.
  • Gives lots of compliments.
  • Makes eye contact, then looks away.
  • Other people seem invisible to your protagonist.

Novel idea

Take it in turns to tell everyone else about a current project you’re working on (a book, screenplay, short story, etc.)

The other writers then brainstorm ideas for related stories you could write, or directions your project could take.  There are no right or wrong suggestions and the intention is to focus on big concepts, not little details.

This whole exercise takes around 15 minutes.

Exercise for groups of 3-5

Creative writing

If you're in larger group, split up into groups of 3 or 4 people.

Everyone writes the first line of a story in the Zoom chat, or on paper. Other people can then choose this line as a writing prompt.

For this exercise:

  • Say who the protagonist is.
  • Reveal their motivation.
  • Introduce any other characters

Once everyone's written a prompt, each author chooses a prompt (preferably someone eles's, but it can be your own if you feel really inspired by it.)  Then write for 10 minutes using this prompt. See if you can reveal who the protagonist is, what their motivation is (it can be a small motivation for a particular scene, it doesn't have to be a huge life goal), and introduce at least one new character.

Take turns reading out your stories to each other.

  • Write in the first person.
  • Have the protagonist interacting with an object or something in nature.
  • The challenge is to create intrigue that makes the reader want to know more with just a single line.

Creative story cards for students

Cut up a piece of paper and write one word on each of the pieces of paper, as follows:

Give each participant a couple of pieces of paper at random.  The first person says the first sentence of a story and they must use their first word as part of that sentence.  The second person then continues the story and must include their word in it, and so on.  Go round the group twice to complete the story.

You can also do this creative writing exercise with story dice, your own choice of words, or by asking participants to write random words down themselves, then shuffling all the cards together.

Alternative Christmas Story

Every Christmas adults tell kids stories about Santa Claus. In this exercise you write a Christmas story from an alternative dimension.

What if every Christmas Santa didn't fly around the world delivering presents on his sleigh pulled by reindeer? What if gnomes or aliens delivered the presents? Or perhaps it was the gnomes who are trying to emulate the humans? Or some other Christmas tradition entirely that we humans have never heard of!

Group writing exercise

If you're working with a group, give everyone a couple of minutes to write two possible themes for the new Christmas story. Each theme should be 5 words or less.

Shuffle the paper and distribute them at random. If you're working online, everyone types the themes into the Zoom or group chat. Each writer then spends 10 minutes writing a short story for children based on one of the two themes, or their own theme if they really want to.

If working alone, choose your own theme and spend 15 minutes writing a short story on it. See if you can create the magic of Christmas from another world!

Murder Mystery mind map

In a murder mystery story or courtroom drama, there's often conflicting information and lots of links between characters. A mind map is an ideal way to illustrate how everything ties together.

Split into groups of 3 or 4 people each and place a blank piece of A3 paper (double the size of A4) in the middle of each group. Discuss between you who the victim is and write their name in the middle of the piece of paper. Then brainstorm information about the murder, for example:

Feel free to expand out from any of these, e.g. to include more information on the different characters involved.

The idea is that  everyone writes at the same time!   Obviously, you can discuss ideas, but anyone can dive in and write their ideas on the mind map.

  • Who was the victim? (job, appearance, hobbies, etc.)
  • Who did the victim know?
  • What were their possible motivations?
  • What was the murder weapon?
  • What locations are significant to the plot?

New Year’s resolutions for a fictional character

List of ideas for a fictional character

If you’re writing a piece of fiction, ask yourself how your protagonist would react to an everyday situation. This can help you to gain a deeper insight into who they are.

One way to do this is to imagine what their New Year’s resolutions would be.

If completing this exercise with a group, limit it to 3 to 5 resolutions per person. If some participants are historical fiction or non-fiction writers, they instead pick a celebrity and either write what their resolutions  will  be, or what their resolutions  should  be, their choice.

Verb Noun Fiction Exercise (Inspired by Stephen King)

List of ideas for a fictional character

Stephen King said, "I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs, and I will shout it from the rooftops."

He also said, "Take any noun, put it with any verb, and you have a sentence. It never fails. Rocks explode. Jane transmits. Mountains float. These are all perfect sentences. Many such thoughts make little rational sense, but even the stranger ones (Plums deify!) have a kind of poetic weight that’s nice."

In this fiction writing exercise, start by brainstorming (either individually or collectively) seven verbs on seven different pieces of paper. Put those aside for later. Now brainstorm seven nouns. Randomly match the nouns and verbs so you have seven pairs. Choose a pair and write a piece of fiction for ten minutes. Avoid using any adverbs.

It’s the end of the world

End of the world

It’s the end of the world!  For 5 minutes either:

If working as a team, then after the 5 minutes is up each writer reads their description out to the other participants.

  • Describe how the world’s going to end, creating evocative images using similes or metaphors as you wish and tell the story from a global perspective, or
  • Describe how you spend your final day before the world is destroyed.  Combine emotion and action to engage the reader.

7 Editing Exercises

For use after your first draft

Editing first draft

I’ve listened to a lot of masterclasses on writing by successful authors and they all say variants of your first draft won’t be good and that’s fine. Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman summarise it the best:

“The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.”  

Terry Pratchett

“For me, it’s always been a process of trying to convince myself that what I’m doing in a first draft isn’t important. One way you get through the wall is by convincing yourself that it doesn’t matter. No one is ever going to see your first draft. Nobody cares about your first draft. And that’s the thing that you may be agonising over, but honestly, whatever you’re doing can be fixed… For now, just get the words out. Get the story down however you can get it down, then fix it.”

Neil Gaiman

Once you’ve written your first draft, it will need editing to develop the plot, enhance the characters, and improve each scene in a myriad of ways – small and large. These seven creative editing exercises are designed to help with this stage of the process.

The First Sentence

Read the first paragraph of the novel, in particular the first sentence. Does it launch the reader straight into the action? According to  On Writing and Worldbuilding  by Timothy Hickson,  “The most persuasive opening lines are succinct, and not superfluous. To do this, it is often effective to limit it to a single central idea… This does not need to be the most important element, but it should be a central element that is interesting.” Ask yourself what element your opening sentence encapsulates and whether it’s the best one to capture your readers’ attention.

Consistency

Consistency is crucial in creative writing, whether it’s in relation to location, objects, or people.

It’s also crucial for personality, emotions and motivation.

Look at scenes where your protagonist makes an important decision. Are their motivations clear? Do any scenes force them to choose between two conflicting morals? If so, do you explore this? Do their emotions fit with what’s happened in previous scenes?

As you edit your manuscript, keep the characters’ personality, emotions and motivation in mind. If their behaviour is inconsistent, either edit it for consistency, or have someone comment on their strange behaviour or be surprised by it. Inconsistent behaviour can reveal that a character is keeping a secret, or is under stress, so characters don’t always need to be consistent. But when they’re not, there has to be a reason.  

Show Don’t Tell One

This exercise is the first in  The Emotional Craft of Fiction  by Donald Maass. It’s a writing guide with a plethora of editing exercises designed to help you reenergize your writing by thinking of what your character is feeling, and giving you the tools to make your reader feel something.  

  • Select a moment in your story when your protagonist is moved, unsettled, or disturbed… Write down all the emotions inherent in this moment, both obvious and hidden.
  • Next, considering what he is feeling, write down how your protagonist can act out. What is the biggest thing your protagonist can do? What would be explosive, out of bounds, or offensive? What would be symbolic? … Go sideways, underneath, or ahead. How can your protagonist show us a feeling we don’t expect to see?
  • Finally, go back and delete all the emotions you wrote down at the beginning of this exercise. Let actions and spoken words do the work. Do they feel too big, dangerous, or over-the-top? Use them anyway. Others will tell you if you’ve gone too far, but more likely, you haven’t gone far enough.

Show Don’t Tell Two

Search for the following words in your book:

Whenever these words occur, ask yourself if you can demonstrate how your characters feel, rather than simply stating it. For each occasion, can you use physiological descriptors (a racing heart), actions (taking a step backwards) or dialogue to express what’s just happened instead? Will this enhance the scene and engage the reader more?

After The Action

Find a scene where your characters disagree – in particular a scene where your protagonist argues with friends or allies. What happens next?

It can be tempting to wrap up the action with a quick resolution. But what if a resentment lingers and mistrust builds? This creates a more interesting story arc and means a resolution can occur later, giving the character development a real dynamic.

Review how you resolve the action and see if you can stretch out the emotions for a more satisfying read.

Eliminating the Fluff

Ensure that the words used don’t detract from the enormity of the events your character is going through. Can you delete words like, “Quite”, “Little”, or “Rather”? 

Of “Very” Florence King once wrote: “ 'Very' is the most useless word in the English language and can always come out. More than useless, it is treacherous because it invariably weakens what it is intended to strengthen .” Delete it, or replace the word after it with a stronger word, which makes “Very” redundant.

“That,” is another common word used in creative writing which can often be deleted. Read a sentence as is, then reread it as if you deleted, “That”. If the meaning is the same, delete it.

Chapter Endings

When talking about chapter endings, James Patterson said,  “At the end, something has to propel you into the next chapter.”

Read how each of your chapters finish and ask yourself does it either:

  • End on a cliff hanger? (R.L. Stine likes to finish every chapter in this method).
  • End on a natural pause (for example, you’re changing point of view or location).

Review how you wrap up each of your chapters. Do you end at the best point in your story? Can you add anticipation to cliff hangers? Will you leave your readers wanting more?  

The editing exercises are designed to be completed individually.

With the others, I've always run them as part of a creative writing group, where there's no teacher and we're all equal participants, therefore I keep any 'teaching' aspect to a minimum, preferring them to be prompts to generate ideas before everyone settles down to do the silent writing. We've recently gone online and if you run a group yourself, whether online or in person, you're welcome to use these exercises for free!

The times given are suggestions only and I normally get a feel for how everyone's doing when time's up and if it's obvious that everyone's still in the middle of a discussion, then I give them longer.  Where one group's in the middle of a discussion, but everyone else has finished, I sometimes have a 'soft start' to the silent writing, and say, "We're about to start the hour and a half of silent writing now, but if you're in the middle of a discussion, feel free to finish it first".

This way everyone gets to complete the discussion, but no-one's waiting for ages.  It's also important to emphasise that there's no wrong answers when being creative.

Still looking for more? Check out these  creative writing prompts , or our dedicated  Sci-Fi and Fantasy creative writing prompts .

If you've enjoyed these creative writing exercises, please share them on social media, or link to them from your blog.

Creative writing games

Writing prompts for adults

Fantasy and sci-fi prompts

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Murder mystery riddles

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Writers.com

The best writing exercises bring out our latent creativity. Especially if you ever feel stuck or blocked, making creative writing exercises part of your daily writing practice can be a great way to both hone your skills and explore new frontiers in your writing. Whether you’re a poet, essayist, storyteller, or genre-bending author, these free writing exercises will jumpstart your creative juices and improve your writing abilities.

24 of the Best Free Writing Exercises to Try Out Today

The best creative writing exercises will push you out of your comfort zone and get you to experiment with words. Language is your sandbox, so let’s build some sand castles with these exercises and writing prompts.

Write With Limitations

The English language is huge, complicated, and — quite frankly — chaotic. Writing with self-imposed limitations can help you create novel and inventive pieces.

What does “limitations” mean in this context? Basically, force yourself not to use certain words, descriptions, or figures of speech. Some writing exercises using limitations include the following:

  • Write without using adverbs or adjectives.
  • Write without using the passive voice – no “being verbs” whatsoever. (Also called “E-Prime” writing.)
  • Write a story without using a common letter –  just like Ernest Vincent Wright did .
  • Write a poem where each line has six words.
  • Write without using any pronouns.

Among exercises to improve writing skills, writing with limitations has the clearest benefits. This practice challenges your brain to think about language productively. Additionally, these limitations force you to use unconventional language – which, in turn, makes you write with lucidity, avidity, and invention.

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The Spirituality of Poetry

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Let the spirit of language move through you. In this 6 week course, we will study, write, and share poetry about the sacredness of human experience.

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Death Riding Shotgun: How Awareness of Our Mortality Impacts Poetry

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How can your own mortality inform your work? In this 6-week course, you'll use death to inspire and motivate your poetry writing.

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Comics for People Who Can’t Draw!

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Can't draw? No problem! In this workshop, learn how to tell complete stories in publication-ready comics, no matter your artistic background. 

Freewriting & Stream of Consciousness

What do you do when the words just don’t come out? How can you write better if you can’t seem to write at all? One of the best poetry exercises, as well as writing exercises in general, is to start your day by freewriting.

Freewriting, also known as “stream of consciousness writing,” involves writing your thoughts down the moment they come. There’s no filtering what you write, and no controlling what you think: topicality, style, and continuity are wholly unnecessary in the freewriting process. While the idea of freewriting seems easy, it’s much harder than you think – examining your thoughts without controlling them takes a while to master, and the impulse to control what you write isn’t easy to tame. Try these exercises to master the skill:

  • Do a timed freewrite. Start with five minutes.
  • Freewrite until you fill up the entirety of something – an envelope, a receipt, a postcard, etc.
  • Freewrite after meditating.
  • Freewrite off of the first word of today’s newspaper.

Among daily writing exercises, freewriting is one of the best writing exercises. Poets can use freewritten material as inspiration for their poetry. Prose writers can also find inspiration for future stories from the depths of their consciousnesses. Start your writing day with freewriting, and watch your creativity blossom.

Copy What You Read

Plagiarism is still off the table; however, you can learn a lot by paying attention to how other people write. This is what we call “reading like a writer.”

Reading like a writer means paying attention to the craft elements that make an excellent piece of literature work. Good writing requires different writing styles, figurative language, story structures, and/or poetry forms, as well as key word choice.

When you notice these craft elements, you can go ahead and emulate them in your own work. As a fiction writer , you might be drawn to the way Haruki Murakami weaves folklore into his stories, and decide to write a story like that yourself. Or, as a poet, you might be inspired by Terrance Hayes’ Golden Shovel form — enough so that you write a Golden Shovel yourself.

  • Read a favorite poem, and write your own poem in the same poetic form.
  • Blackout poetry: take another poem, cross out words you don’t want to use, circle words you do, and write a poem based on the circled words.
  • Copy a single sentence from a favorite novel, and write a short-short story with it.

Among free writing exercises, this is a great way to learn from the best. The best kinds of exercises to improve writing skills involve building upon the current canon of works — as Isaac Newton said, you achieve something great by “standing on the shoulders of giants.”

Write From Different Perspectives

The conventional advice given to writers is to “write what you know.” We couldn’t disagree with that statement more. The best creative works force both the writer and the reader to consider new perspectives and learn something new; writing from a new point-of-view makes for a great exercise in expanding your creative limits.

Try these ideas as daily writing exercises:

  • Write a story with the same plot, but with two or more perspectives. For example, you could write a lover’s quarrel from two different view points.
  • Write from the point-of-view of a famous historical figure.
  • Write a story or poem from the perspective of an object: a statue, a doll, a roomba, etc.
  • Write from the perspective of a person you dislike.

While playing with perspective makes for a great fiction writing exercise , poets and essayists can do this too. Patricia Smith’s poem “Skinhead,” for example, is a persona piece written from the perspective of a white nationalist, but the poem clearly condemns the speaker’s beliefs.

Thus, perspective writing also works as a poetry exercise and an essay writing practice exercise . If you’re stuck in your own head, try writing in someone else’s!

Write Metaphor Lists

All creative writers need figurative language. While metaphors, similes, and synecdoches are more prominent in poetry , prose writers need the power of metaphor to truly engross their reader. Among both exercises to improve writing skills and fun writing exercises for adults, writing metaphor lists is one of the best writing exercises out there.

A metaphor list is simple. On a notebook, create two columns. In one column, write down only concrete nouns. Things like a pillow, a tree, a cat, a cloud, and anything that can be perceived with one of the five senses.

In the other list, write down only abstract ideas. Things like love, hate, war, peace, justice, closure, and reconciliation — anything that is conceptual and cannot be directly perceived.

Now, choose a random noun and a random concept, and create a metaphor or simile with them. Delve into the metaphor and explain the comparison. For example, you might say “Love is like a pillow — it can comfort, or it can smother.”

Once you’ve mastered the metaphor list, you can try the following ideas to challenge yourself:

  • Create a coherent poem out of your metaphor list.
  • Turn your metaphor list into a short story.
  • Try making lists with a different figurative language device, such as personification, pathetic fallacy, or metonymy.

Any free creative writing exercise that focuses on figurative language can aid your writing immensely, as it helps writers add insight and emotionality to their work. This is an especially great creative writing exercise for beginners as they learn the elements of style and language.

Daily Journaling

Of course, the best way to improve your creative writing skills is simply to write every day. Keeping a daily journal is a great way to exercise your writing mind. By sitting down with your personal observations and writing without an agenda or audience, a daily writing practice  remains one of the best writing exercises , regardless of your genre or level of expertise.

Consider these ideas for your daily journal:

  • Track your mood and emotions throughout the day. Write those emotions in metaphor — avoid commonplace adjectives and nouns.
  • Write about your day from the second- or third-person.
  • Journal your day in verse. Use stanzas, line breaks, and figurative language.
  • Write about your day backwards.
  • Write about your day using Freytag’s pyramid . Build up to a meaningful climax, even if nothing significant seemed to happen today.

Writing Exercises: Have Fun with Them!

Many of these writing exercises might feel challenging at first—and that’s a good thing! You will unlock new ideas and writing strengths by struggling through these creative challenges. The main point is to have fun with them and use them to explore within your writing, without indulging too many monologues from your inner critic.

Are you looking for more exercises to improve your writing skills? Our instructors can offer prompts, illuminating lectures, one-to-one feedback, and more to help you improve your craft. Check out our upcoming creative writing courses , and let’s put these skills to practice.

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Sean Glatch

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Thank you for this. I’ve been stuck for months—more than that, actually, and you’d think that a pandemic stay-at-home would be the perfect time to do some writing. But no. I’m as stuck as ever. In fact, the only time I seem able to write consistently and well is when I’m taking one of your classes! I’m still saving my pennies, but these exercises will hopefully get me writing in the meantime. Thanks again!

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Hi Kathy, I’m glad to hear some of these tips might spark your creativity 🙂 I feel the same way, I was hoping the stay-at-home order might spark some creativity, but we shouldn’t push ourselves too hard – especially in the midst of a crisis.

The best part about writing: all you have to do is try, and you’ve already succeeded. Good luck on your writing endeavors!

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Bravo….!What a great piece! Honestly I learnt a lot here!

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I picked interest in poetry just a week ago after reading a beautiful piece which captivated my mind into the world of writing. I’d love to write great poems but I don’t know anything about poetry, I need a coach, a motivator and an inspiration to be able to do this. This piece really helped me but I will appreciate some more tips and help from you or anyone else willing to help, I am really fervid about this.

Hi Anthony,

Thanks for your comment! I’m so excited for you to start your journey with poetry. We have more advice for poetry writing at the articles under this link: https://writers.com/category/poetry

Additionally, you might be interested in two of our upcoming poetry courses: Poetry Workshop and How to Craft a Poem .

If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at [email protected] . Many thanks, and happy writing!

[…] 24 Best Writing Exercises to Become a Better Writer | writers.com  […]

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Hi, kinsey there. Thanks for giving information. it is a very informative blog and i appreciate your effort to write a blog I am also a writer and i like these type of blogs everyone takes more knowledge to check out my essay writing website

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As a writer, I often struggle to break free from the chains of writer’s block, but this blog has gifted me with a map of inspiration to navigate through those creative storms. It’s like being handed a box of enchanted writing exercises

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Creative Writing Worksheets

Writing worksheets.

Creative Writing Worksheets

PIN TO READ LATER You’re welcome to use these creative writing worksheets for teaching in class or online. I only ask that you do not redistribute them as your own. Thank you!

If you’re short on time, you can download 1 master PDF containing all of the worksheets in the Coterie Library .

  • Things I Love
  • Character Quirks
  • City Building
  • Killing Characters
  • Escaping a Tight Spot
  • Love Your Antagonist
  • Plot Hole Gapping
  • Licence to Write
  • Character Motivation
  • Ticking Clock
  • Make Trouble
  • Solving a Mystery
  • Opening Scene
  • Try/Fail Cycle
  • Creating Mood
  • Metaphors & Similes
  • Partners in Love
  • Points of View
  • Reconnect with your Story
  • Life Themes
  • Creating Suspense
  • Who Knows What When
  • Rites & Rituals
  • Scene Writing
  • Good Dialogue
  • Synopsis Writing
  • Naming Characters
  • Your Readership
  • Editing Checklist
  • Choose a Genre
  • Decision Making
  • Occupations
  • Set the Scene
  • Idea Engine
  • Quick Character Creator

More Writing Worksheets

Find the growing index of 150+ writing worksheets here .

More Writing Resources

  • Genre mindmaps
  • Blogging worksheets for novelists
  • The One Page Novel plot formula
  • Flash fiction prompts
  • Novel in a month notebook
  • Creative writing tools I love
  • Inspiration ebook
  • Imagination ebook
  • Creative writing syllabus

You can find a complete PDF of all of the writing worksheets to date in the Coterie Library.

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  • Writing Activities

105 Creative Writing Exercises To Get You Writing Again

You know that feeling when you just don’t feel like writing? Sometimes you can’t even get a word down on paper. It’s the most frustrating thing ever to a writer, especially when you’re working towards a deadline. The good news is that we have a list of 105 creative writing exercises to help you get motivated and start writing again!

What are creative writing exercises?

Creative writing exercises are short writing activities (normally around 10 minutes) designed to get you writing. The goal of these exercises is to give you the motivation to put words onto a blank paper. These words don’t need to be logical or meaningful, neither do they need to be grammatically correct or spelt correctly. The whole idea is to just get you writing something, anything. The end result of these quick creative writing exercises is normally a series of notes, bullet points or ramblings that you can, later on, use as inspiration for a bigger piece of writing such as a story or a poem. 

Good creative writing exercises are short, quick and easy to complete. You shouldn’t need to think too much about your style of writing or how imaginative your notes are. Just write anything that comes to mind, and you’ll be on the road to improving your creative writing skills and beating writer’s block . 

Use the generator below to get a random creative writing exercise idea:

List of 105+ Creative Writing Exercises

Here are over 105 creative writing exercises to give your brain a workout and help those creative juices flow again:

  • Set a timer for 60 seconds. Now write down as many words or phrases that come to mind at that moment.
  • Pick any colour you like. Now start your sentence with this colour. For example, Orange, the colour of my favourite top. 
  • Open a book or dictionary on a random page. Pick a random word. You can close your eyes and slowly move your finger across the page. Now, write a paragraph with this random word in it. You can even use an online dictionary to get random words:

dictionary-random-word-imagine-forest

  • Create your own alphabet picture book or list. It can be A to Z of animals, food, monsters or anything else you like!
  • Using only the sense of smell, describe where you are right now.
  • Take a snack break. While eating your snack write down the exact taste of that food. The goal of this creative writing exercise is to make your readers savour this food as well.
  • Pick a random object in your room and write a short paragraph from its point of view. For example, how does your pencil feel? What if your lamp had feelings?
  • Describe your dream house. Where would you live one day? Is it huge or tiny? 
  • Pick two different TV shows, movies or books that you like. Now swap the main character. What if Supergirl was in Twilight? What if SpongeBob SquarePants was in The Flash? Write a short scene using this character swap as inspiration.
  • What’s your favourite video game? Write at least 10 tips for playing this game.
  • Pick your favourite hobby or sport. Now pretend an alien has just landed on Earth and you need to teach it this hobby or sport. Write at least ten tips on how you would teach this alien.
  • Use a random image generator and write a paragraph about the first picture you see.

random image generator

  • Write a letter to your favourite celebrity or character. What inspires you most about them? Can you think of a memorable moment where this person’s life affected yours? We have this helpful guide on writing a letter to your best friend for extra inspiration.
  • Write down at least 10 benefits of writing. This can help motivate you and beat writer’s block.
  • Complete this sentence in 10 different ways: Patrick waited for the school bus and…
  • Pick up a random book from your bookshelf and go to page 9. Find the ninth sentence on that page. Use this sentence as a story starter.
  • Create a character profile based on all the traits that you hate. It might help to list down all the traits first and then work on describing the character.
  • What is the scariest or most dangerous situation you have ever been in? Why was this situation scary? How did you cope at that moment?
  • Pretend that you’re a chat show host and you’re interviewing your favourite celebrity. Write down the script for this conversation.
  • Using extreme detail, write down what you have been doing for the past one hour today. Think about your thoughts, feelings and actions during this time.
  • Make a list of potential character names for your next story. You can use a fantasy name generator to help you.
  • Describe a futuristic setting. What do you think the world would look like in 100 years time?
  • Think about a recent argument you had with someone. Would you change anything about it? How would you resolve an argument in the future?
  • Describe a fantasy world. What kind of creatures live in this world? What is the climate like? What everyday challenges would a typical citizen of this world face? You can use this fantasy world name generator for inspiration.
  • At the flip of a switch, you turn into a dragon. What kind of dragon would you be? Describe your appearance, special abilities, likes and dislikes. You can use a dragon name generator to give yourself a cool dragon name.
  • Pick your favourite book or a famous story. Now change the point of view. For example, you could rewrite the fairytale , Cinderella. This time around, Prince Charming could be the main character. What do you think Prince Charming was doing, while Cinderella was cleaning the floors and getting ready for the ball?
  • Pick a random writing prompt and use it to write a short story. Check out this collection of over 300 writing prompts for kids to inspire you. 
  • Write a shopping list for a famous character in history. Imagine if you were Albert Einstein’s assistant, what kind of things would he shop for on a weekly basis?
  • Create a fake advertisement poster for a random object that is near you right now. Your goal is to convince the reader to buy this object from you.
  • What is the worst (or most annoying) sound that you can imagine? Describe this sound in great detail, so your reader can understand the pain you feel when hearing this sound.
  • What is your favourite song at the moment? Pick one line from this song and describe a moment in your life that relates to this line.
  •  You’re hosting an imaginary dinner party at your house. Create a list of people you would invite, and some party invites. Think about the theme of the dinner party, the food you will serve and entertainment for the evening. 
  • You are waiting to see your dentist in the waiting room. Write down every thought you are having at this moment in time. 
  • Make a list of your greatest fears. Try to think of at least three fears. Now write a short story about a character who is forced to confront one of these fears. 
  • Create a ‘Wanted’ poster for a famous villain of your choice. Think about the crimes they have committed, and the reward you will give for having them caught. 
  • Imagine you are a journalist for the ‘Imagine Forest Times’ newspaper. Your task is to get an exclusive interview with the most famous villain of all time. Pick a villain of your choice and interview them for your newspaper article. What questions would you ask them, and what would their responses be?
  •  In a school playground, you see the school bully hurting a new kid. Write three short stories, one from each perspective in this scenario (The bully, the witness and the kid getting bullied).
  • You just won $10 million dollars. What would you spend this money on?
  • Pick a random animal, and research at least five interesting facts about this animal. Write a short story centred around one of these interesting facts. 
  • Pick a global issue that you are passionate about. This could be climate change, black lives matters, women’s rights etc. Now create a campaign poster for this global issue. 
  • Write an acrostic poem about an object near you right now (or even your own name). You could use a poetry idea generator to inspire you.
  • Imagine you are the head chef of a 5-star restaurant. Recently the business has slowed down. Your task is to come up with a brand-new menu to excite customers. Watch this video prompt on YouTube to inspire you.
  • What is your favourite food of all time? Imagine if this piece of food was alive, what would it say to you?
  • If life was one big musical, what would you be singing about right now? Write the lyrics of your song. 
  • Create and describe the most ultimate villain of all time. What would their traits be? What would their past look like? Will they have any positive traits?
  • Complete this sentence in at least 10 different ways: Every time I look out of the window, I…
  • You have just made it into the local newspaper, but what for? Write down at least five potential newspaper headlines . Here’s an example, Local Boy Survives a Deadly Illness.
  • If you were a witch or a wizard, what would your specialist area be and why? You might want to use a Harry Potter name generator or a witch name generator for inspiration.
  • What is your favourite thing to do on a Saturday night? Write a short story centred around this activity. 
  • Your main character has just received the following items: A highlighter, a red cap, a teddy bear and a fork. What would your character do with these items? Can you write a story using these items? 
  • Create a timeline of your own life, from birth to this current moment. Think about the key events in your life, such as birthdays, graduations, weddings and so on. After you have done this, you can pick one key event from your life to write a story about. 
  • Think of a famous book or movie you like. Rewrite a scene from this book or movie, where the main character is an outsider. They watch the key events play out, but have no role in the story. What would their actions be? How would they react?
  • Three very different characters have just won the lottery. Write a script for each character, as they reveal the big news to their best friend.  
  • Write a day in the life story of three different characters. How does each character start their day? What do they do throughout the day? And how does their day end?
  •  Write about the worst experience in your life so far. Think about a time when you were most upset or angry and describe it. 
  • Imagine you’ve found a time machine in your house. What year would you travel to and why?
  • Describe your own superhero. Think about their appearance, special abilities and their superhero name. Will they have a secret identity? Who is their number one enemy?
  • What is your favourite country in the world? Research five fun facts about this country and use one to write a short story. 
  • Set yourself at least three writing goals. This could be a good way to motivate yourself to write every day. For example, one goal might be to write at least 150 words a day. 
  • Create a character description based on the one fact, three fiction rule. Think about one fact or truth about yourself. And then add in three fictional or fantasy elements. For example, your character could be the same age as you in real life, this is your one fact. And the three fictional elements could be they have the ability to fly, talk in over 100 different languages and have green skin. 
  • Describe the perfect person. What traits would they have? Think about their appearance, their interests and their dislikes. 
  • Keep a daily journal or diary. This is a great way to keep writing every day. There are lots of things you can write about in your journal, such as you can write about the ‘highs’ and ‘lows’ of your day. Think about anything that inspired you or anything that upset you, or just write anything that comes to mind at the moment. 
  • Write a book review or a movie review. If you’re lost for inspiration, just watch a random movie or read any book that you can find. Then write a critical review on it. Think about the best parts of the book/movie and the worst parts. How would you improve the book or movie?
  • Write down a conversation between yourself. You can imagine talking to your younger self or future self (i.e. in 10 years’ time). What would you tell them? Are there any lessons you learned or warnings you need to give? Maybe you could talk about what your life is like now and compare it to their life?
  • Try writing some quick flash fiction stories . Flash fiction is normally around 500 words long, so try to stay within this limit.
  • Write a six-word story about something that happened to you today or yesterday. A six-word story is basically an entire story told in just six words. Take for example: “Another football game ruined by me.” or “A dog’s painting sold for millions.” – Six-word stories are similar to writing newspaper headlines. The goal is to summarise your story in just six words. 
  • The most common monsters or creatures used in stories include vampires, werewolves , dragons, the bigfoot, sirens and the loch-ness monster. In a battle of intelligence, who do you think will win and why?
  • Think about an important event in your life that has happened so far, such as a birthday or the birth of a new sibling. Now using the 5 W’s and 1 H technique describe this event in great detail. The 5 W’s include: What, Who, Where, Why, When and the 1 H is: How. Ask yourself questions about the event, such as what exactly happened on that day? Who was there? Why was this event important? When and where did it happen? And finally, how did it make you feel?
  • Pretend to be someone else. Think about someone important in your life. Now put yourself into their shoes, and write a day in the life story about being them. What do you think they do on a daily basis? What situations would they encounter? How would they feel?
  • Complete this sentence in at least 10 different ways: I remember…
  • Write about your dream holiday. Where would you go? Who would you go with? And what kind of activities would you do?
  • Which one item in your house do you use the most? Is it the television, computer, mobile phone, the sofa or the microwave? Now write a story of how this item was invented. You might want to do some research online and use these ideas to build up your story. 
  • In exactly 100 words, describe your bedroom. Try not to go over or under this word limit.
  • Make a top ten list of your favourite animals. Based on this list create your own animal fact file, where you provide fun facts about each animal in your list.
  • What is your favourite scene from a book or a movie? Write down this scene. Now rewrite the scene in a different genre, such as horror, comedy, drama etc.
  •  Change the main character of a story you recently read into a villain. For example, you could take a popular fairytale such as Jack and the Beanstalk, but this time re-write the story to make Jack the villain of the tale.
  • Complete the following sentence in at least 10 different ways: Do you ever wonder…
  • What does your name mean? Research the meaning of your own name, or a name that interests you. Then use this as inspiration for your next story. For example, the name ‘Marty’ means “Servant Of Mars, God Of War”. This could make a good concept for a sci-fi story.
  • Make a list of three different types of heroes (or main characters) for potential future stories.
  • If someone gave you $10 dollars, what would you spend it on and why?
  • Describe the world’s most boring character in at least 100 words. 
  • What is the biggest problem in the world today, and how can you help fix this issue?
  • Create your own travel brochure for your hometown. Think about why tourists might want to visit your hometown. What is your town’s history? What kind of activities can you do? You could even research some interesting facts. 
  • Make a list of all your favourite moments or memories in your life. Now pick one to write a short story about.
  • Describe the scariest and ugliest monster you can imagine. You could even draw a picture of this monster with your description.
  • Write seven haikus, one for each colour of the rainbow. That’s red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. 
  • Imagine you are at the supermarket. Write down at least three funny scenarios that could happen to you at the supermarket. Use one for your next short story. 
  • Imagine your main character is at home staring at a photograph. Write the saddest scene possible. Your goal is to make your reader cry when reading this scene. 
  • What is happiness? In at least 150 words describe the feeling of happiness. You could use examples from your own life of when you felt happy.
  • Think of a recent nightmare you had and write down everything you can remember. Use this nightmare as inspiration for your next story.
  • Keep a dream journal. Every time you wake up in the middle of the night or early in the morning you can quickly jot down things that you remember from your dreams. These notes can then be used as inspiration for a short story. 
  • Your main character is having a really bad day. Describe this bad day and the series of events they experience. What’s the worst thing that could happen to your character?
  • You find a box on your doorstep. You open this box and see the most amazing thing ever. Describe this amazing thing to your readers.
  • Make a list of at least five possible settings or locations for future stories. Remember to describe each setting in detail.
  • Think of something new you recently learned. Write this down. Now write a short story where your main character also learns the same thing.
  • Describe the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen in your whole life. Your goal is to amaze your readers with its beauty. 
  • Make a list of things that make you happy or cheer you up. Try to think of at least five ideas. Now imagine living in a world where all these things were banned or against the law. Use this as inspiration for your next story.
  • Would you rather be rich and alone or poor and very popular? Write a story based on the lives of these two characters. 
  • Imagine your main character is a Librarian. Write down at least three dark secrets they might have. Remember, the best secrets are always unexpected.
  • There’s a history behind everything. Describe the history of your house. How and when was your house built? Think about the land it was built on and the people that may have lived here long before you.
  • Imagine that you are the king or queen of a beautiful kingdom. Describe your kingdom in great detail. What kind of rules would you have? Would you be a kind ruler or an evil ruler of the kingdom?
  • Make a wish list of at least three objects you wish you owned right now. Now use these three items in your next story. At least one of them must be the main prop in the story.
  • Using nothing but the sense of taste, describe a nice Sunday afternoon at your house. Remember you can’t use your other senses (i.e see, hear, smell or touch) in this description. 
  • What’s the worst pain you felt in your life? Describe this pain in great detail, so your readers can also feel it.
  • If you were lost on a deserted island in the middle of nowhere, what three must-have things would you pack and why?
  • Particpate in online writing challenges or contests. Here at Imagine Forest, we offer daily writing challenges with a new prompt added every day to inspire you. Check out our challenges section in the menu.

Do you have any more fun creative writing exercises to share? Let us know in the comments below!

creative writing exercises

Marty the wizard is the master of Imagine Forest. When he's not reading a ton of books or writing some of his own tales, he loves to be surrounded by the magical creatures that live in Imagine Forest. While living in his tree house he has devoted his time to helping children around the world with their writing skills and creativity.

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creative writing worksheets for writers

Learn story writing from the masters

creative writing worksheets for writers

Creative Writing Prompts

29 Remarkable Comments

Welcome to the creative writing prompts page! What you can find here is a MASSIVE collection of 63 quality writing exercises (basically, each one is a mini-story of its own, with a twist). This is going to be so much fun, and all while you improve your story writing skills.

You can find all kinds of creative writing exercises here. All of them are fiction writing prompts, and they cover almost every genre, plus you can find creative writing prompts about dialogue, characters, plot, for writer’s block, and much, much more…

Interesting Writing Prompts

This is not the usual stuff. I tried to make these writing prompts intriguing. Most of them are complete scenes and even mini-stories.

You can have them. Yes, you own all the rights, even if you base your entire novel on them and get it published and earn a million dollars for the movie rights. They are all yours.

To become a really good story writer, there is only one thing you need to do: Write! And these creative writing prompts should inspire you to write. They should fire your brain up and make your fingers itch.

With each of these prompts, you can train one specific aspect of your writing; either a genre, or your dialogue or story starter skills, etc…

Post Your Prompt

Also, pick your favorite creative writing prompt, do it, and post it in the comments! Let’s make this a page for everybody to share their creative writing. The more you guys comment and actually do these prompts, the more prompts I will add in the future.

Creative Writing Prompts PDF

To top it all off, you can also download these prompts. Find a neat PDF collection of all the prompts here:

Creative Writing Prompts

Fun Creative Writing Prompts – Index

(Click on the genre to get to the prompts)

1. Romance Writing Prompts

2. Mystery Writing Prompts/Suspense Writing Prompts

3. Fantasy Writing Prompts

4. Science Fiction Writing Prompts

5. Horror Writing Prompts

6. Thriller Writing Prompts

7. Adventure Writing Prompts

8. Action Writing Prompts

9. Historical/Medieval Writing Prompts

10. Dialogue Writing Prompts

11. Character Writing Prompts

12. Plot Writing Prompts

13. Short Story Writing Prompts

14. Writing Prompts with Pictures

15. Writing Prompts for Writer’s Block

16. Story Starters Writing Prompts

17. Unusual Creative Writing Prompts

Bonus: Other Writing Prompts Websites

creative writing worksheets for writers

Writing Prompts that don’t suck: List of Writing Prompts

Romance writing prompts.

[ Read detailed tips about how to write a romantic scene her e . ]

Writing Prompt 1:

On the night before his marriage, Robert gets a visit. It’s Rachel, the girl that grew up next door and has been his best friend ever since. They had always pushed back any feelings for each other, “we are just friends.” (Yeah, right…!).

Now Rachel bursts into is home in a last, unexpected try to convince Robert he is marrying the wrong woman and she and he are meant for each other. But a ceremony for 150 guests is already arranged. After a lot of passionate talk and tears, Rachel gets him to agree to a game: “Can you guess what I would do…?” They both jot down 10 questions plus their hidden answers. Whoever can guess more of the other’s answers right, wins.

Will Rachel win and they will spend the night on a bus, escaping the wedding? Or will Robert win and watch devastated Rachel walk off into the night, frustration in his heart and tears in his eyes? You decide!

How you can make this scene shine:

Make the scene captivating by showing the reader why these two are meant for each other: Let them remember what they appreciate so much in each other (show, don’t tell), the special moments they shared, show the missed romantic opportunities, and how they complement each other perfectly.

Your reader will hope and fear with them and be hooked to your scene like it was her own love story.

Writing Prompt 2:

Gwen and Christopher have been married for 20 years. One night Gwen finds bright red lipstick on the collar of his jacket. Infuriated, she grabs one of his golf clubs, and swings at his car till it looks worse than a bicycle under a freight train.

When she is exhausted and breaks down crying, Christopher can finally explain what happened: Christopher had been with his Chinese language student group. They all had been on their way to a Chinese restaurant for a change, and it had been raining. He lent his jacket to one of his Chinese language students to protect her from the rain. That’s when the lipstick got on the shirt.

Will Gwen believe him and end up sobbing and relieved in his arms? Or will she not believe one word and soon continue with Chris’ Chinese porcelain collection? You decide!

Leave the reader in the dark about why the lipstick really is on the jacket as long as possible, keep the suspense vibrant. Describe Gwen’s pain and the destruction of Chris’ beloved car in energetic detail, so the reader will live with them as if it was their own (heart and car).

Writing Prompt 3:

King Kong, the giant, roaring ape, falls in sweet love with his female counterpart, Queen Kong. While he was terrorizing New York, she was keeping Chicago on its toes. They meet for a date somewhere in the middle, in a dreamy forest (burning trees instead of candlelight, etc…).

They share a romantic dinner (living cattle, farmers…) and discover their common interests: They both love tearing down skyscrapers, putting police cars on top of billboard ads and eating humongous bananas. And oh, don’t even get me started on the sex…

Will these lonely apes form a bond that helps their love survive against all odds/outer resistance? Or will the egomaniacs in them gain the upper hand and tear their love apart? You decide!

How do you express your love when you are a hairy monster the size of a skyscraper? What would be different, what would be absurd? Emphasize the strange contrast between tender feelings and a gigantic physique. Your reader will find their obstacles very different, but equally painful to his own, and love you for it.

Writing Prompt 4:

Lucas has fallen in love with his dentist. His teeth are very healthy, but he is coming into Jasmin’s practice for the third time within three months, in the hope he will be capable of asking her out in a quiet moment, when nobody is listening.

Unfortunately, the doctor has three assistants and one secretary, and even the door to the waiting room doesn’t look too soundproof… Lucas feels like he is on stage in a Shakespearian comedy. Jasmin, on the other hand, lightly makes fun of him, calling him a hypochondriac.

Will Lucas finally have the balls to follow through with his plan? Or will he have to come for a fourth time? Will Jasmin sense what’s up, and will she be attracted or just annoyed? You decide!

Emphasize the contrast between the nonchalant everyday business of the doctor and her assistants, and Lucas’ timid desire to ask her out. Whatever angle he takes, he is running out of time and of Jasmin’s professional attention. How does he feel? Describe his troubled inner life, and your reader will identify strongly and feel for him.

Additional Romance Writing Prompt:

Also see the SF bonus prompt here . It’s a double prompt for two genres, romance and science fiction.

Mystery Writing Prompts/Suspense Writing Prompts

Writing Prompt 5:

Animal-loving Naomi is at her parents’ holiday home. She is observing a small hut at the forest edge. A van shows up there on three nights back to back. Each time, it seems to pick up something. Naomi sees dark silhouettes sneaking around with flashlights.

One night she decides to sneaks closer, and through a gap in the curtains sees a stack of antlers and fur: She has discovered the sinister doings of poachers. Will Naomi alert the police, or will she be so furious she decides to act on her own? Will she stay undiscovered once the van’s headlights show up on the hill? You decide!

Make the readers wonder “What the heck is going on…?” as often as possible, it will make for a suspenseful story. Show how kind, smart and brave Naomi is, so readers fear for her life. Then make the bad guys come.

Writing Prompt 6:

Paris, 19 th century: Detective Beaumont follows his suspect Forestier, who is wearing a long trench coat. He believes Forestier to be the long hunted for “rose murderer.” That murderer always leaves the rare rose variety “Farewell” on his victims’ bodies. The rose can only be bought in one shop in Paris, and if Forestier walks to that shop today, it is almost certain he is the murderer.

Indeed Forestier’s ways lead him to the flower shop in question. When he comes out, the detective follows him into a narrow street to arrest him. He lays his hands on his shoulders, but once he turns him, he sees that it’s not Forestier – he has been played! The real Forestier must have left the flower shop through a back door, and is now up to who-knows-what…

Will that second person have another trap in store for Detective Beaumont? Will the detective get to Forestier before bad things happen? You decide!

Get into the detective’s head! Show his enthusiasm about finding the long sought-after murderer, his doubts, his shock at the discovery! Show the looming danger he is in. It will make for a terrifyingly good scene…

Writing Prompt 7:

Jeremy has a neighbor whose wife has been missing for months. Jeremy is sitting in his living room, watching a documentary about the most beautiful graveyards of the world. It says that the human body and bones are excellent fertilizers and make plants grow like crazy.

He looks out the window and that huge, blooming rose bush in his neighbor’s garden catches his eye. It’s elevated on a small hill of loose soil, and it’s even more striking, as the rest of his garden is barren ground. Suddenly, Jeremy remembers that the name of his neighbor’s wife is Rose…

In this scene, a lot is happening on a mental level, and little on a physical level. Dive into Jeremy’s somber thoughts and his shocking suspicion. But at the same time, remain some outside stimulus going: E.g. Describe images of the documentary, the landscape of the garden, a clock striking ten, etc… It makes for a well-balanced scene.

Fantasy Writing Prompts

Writing Prompt 8:

The four goblins Hukput, Paddycest, Nixxle and Klozzik are on their way to the cave of the Redwing dragon Isidur. They carry a delicious moore rabbit steak with minty potatoes. They plan to present it to him as humble offering of submission, but in reality the dish is soaked with a sleeping potion so they can rob his enormous pile of golden cups, chains and ducats. Will Isidur smell the bait? Or will his loud snoring fill the cave while the goblins hastily get away with as much gold as they can carry? You decide!

Describe how the deceitful goblins try to get suspicious Isidur to devour their dish. Which tactics do they employ? They are so small, and the dragon is so powerful, but will they nevertheless outsmart him? Describe the wide, majestic nature of the landscape and the cave. Tricky and powerful creatures as well as moody sceneries make for a great fantasy story.

Writing Prompt 9:

Magician Axius is potent, old and absent-minded. He wants to put a spell on his best cooking spoon so it should cook his favorite meal, chicken with sweet pepper. But he gets a detail in the spell wrong. The spoon starts to brutally attack all of the chickens in the patio.

Which unlikely places does the spoon go to while Axius is after it? How does Axius make his way through the terrified flock of chickens? And which spells does he use when trying to calm down his good spoon? You decide!

Time to try some “cute,” homespun fantasy! Lay out the small worries of a big magician. Even he needs to take care of overexcited pets and unruly household goods some time. It’s just that he has more powerful ways to deal with them…

Writing Prompt 10:

Two bored dwarfs, Onyx and Hafax, guard a castle’s entrance. They get into an argument who can throw stones further. While they prove their skills to each other, unfortunately a stone hits a giant who is sleeping in the castle ditch. She comes after them furiously. Will she smash their surprised faces to porridge, or can the resilient dwarfs talk her out of it? You decide!

Show the simple, but competitive nature of the dwarfs. They feel strong and then suddenly very weak… Describe the frightening power of the giant. Show your readers a world of many wonders that only exist in fantasy.

Writing Prompt 11:

The ogre Grawczak is invited to a talk show about strange creatures. Believing in the best intentions of TV and eager to help make races understand each other better, he accepts. The vicious questions on air take him by surprise: “Why do ogres smell so bad; don’t they care other people are disgusted?” and “What does human flesh taste like?”

Will Grawczak just freeze in face of the bright studio lights and endure the process? Will he let them provoke him and look really bad? Or will he just eat the moderator with some spices? You decide!

Describe how helpless the big ogre feels in face of the media. Contrast it with the sensational malice of the moderator. If you can paint the ogre as a likeable being, your readers will root for him strongly. If only we understood ogres better, the world would be a more peaceful place!

Science Fiction Writing Prompts

Writing Prompt 12:

It’s an intergalactic poker tournament. Different races from different galaxies have come together. On one of the tables, the only players left are Froggosaurus, The Big Dust, Rhonda Seventeen-Tentacle and the Red Snailman.

Snailman is doing really well, too well for Rhonda. She suddenly reaches out behind his ear and pulls out a mindreader chip! Will the angry players grill Snailman, or will he be able to flee? Maybe an angry/apologetic dialogue ensues that ends with a bargain? You decide!

Writing Prompt 13:

In 2230, humans have conquered Mars. Automated skytrains run through its red desserts. One of these is stopped by a technical glitch at rush hour. The doors are stuck. When the passengers hear the voice of the control system robot through the loudspeakers, they realize the full extent of the disaster…

The system has come to the conclusion that it’s now superior to its creators, and it is planning to take over. It will open the hydraulic doors for the passengers and allow them to leave, under one condition: They have to chain three programmers in the group to a grabpole in the train and leave them behind. It becomes obvious that the system wants to eliminate the last persons that could still endanger its rule: The most talented programmers…

Will the passengers yield to the insane robot’s demand in order to save their lives? Will they try a trick and risk it all? You decide!

Writing Prompt 14:

Zwooshers look like fluffy, pink, door-high pet giraffes – you just want to cuddle them. But their looks are deceiving! They are actually plundering, reckless space pirates.

In the meeting hall, their captain Haab (eye patch, ruffled plush fur, wooden foot, spacemaid tattoo…) holds an inflammatory speech to hype up his crew. They are about to take the freight space ship that showed up on their radar. The ship must carry at least 65 tons of wood shavings, and Haab wants to take them all!

The crew is all hyped up and ready to go, when Haab trips over his wooden leg and falls off the stage. It looks pretty pathetic for a heroic leader. Will the crew just take this as a sign that chaos and plundering can now ensue, and storm forward? Or will this end the captain’s authority and make the horde want to feed him to the Spacephins? You decide!

Writing Prompt 15:

In 2075, the company Cryptofreeze™ offers the simplest, most effective method to time-travel into the future: They freeze your complete organism and defrost you after the desired period of time. Raul Morales was president of Payadua for 12 years. The laws state that he can’t run for office again for the following 4 terms (24 years). His solution is to get frosted for that period.

He is unfrozen in a big televised show that is transmitted directly into the communication chips of the population’s brains. The show features his frozen body in a transparent casket, lasers, dancers, etc… It should be one huge campaign appearance for the upcoming election.

His rivals do their best to make him look bad though: They smuggle in their own audience to boo and ask the wrong questions, they sabotage the lightning, etc… Will they succeed in derailing his campaign, or will Morales’ reputation shine brighter than ever before? You decide!

Bonus Prompt 16: Romance/Science Fiction Writing Prompt

But Cryptofreeze™ also attracts clients with a completely different set of problems: Henry loves Leila and is sure she is the girl he wants to be with. The problem is that she is 19 and he is 58.

Write two scenes:

Henry wants to talk to Leila and finds her on the running track (where the inner track travels less distance than the outer track, but they are still running side by side…). They jog next to each other, which painfully exposes their age difference. He confesses his love to her, she tells him she can’t live with the age difference, and he tells her he has booked his spot with Cryptofreeze™ and that she should make sure she will be free in 30 years. They say farewell in tears.

Henry is unfrozen, but something has gone horribly wrong: Because of a technical failure he has been frozen double time, for 60 years. Leila is now 79, while he is still 58. Roles are reversed, but it’s not as fun as it was supposed to be… Devastated, Henry visits Leila in her nursery home. She is kept in a large metal box, taken care of by robots who drive her out into the garden once per day.

Will they rediscover their love for each other, or will the circumstances have changed them too much? Will the thought of having missed out on all that precious time just kill them? Or will the make the best of it and find happiness? You decide!

Writing Prompts PDF

You can download a complete collection of all the prompts on this page on a neat sheet. Save them for whenever you need them! Enter your email here for your PDF of printable writing prompts:

Creative Writing Prompts PDF

Horror Writing Prompts

Writing Prompt 17:

Joanna has won a vacation weekend in an old castle. Not many guests are there. Wandering the wide halls, she learns about Count Brookhart, the 16 th century owner of the castle. He stole another nobleman’s wife, started a war, and was beheaded. He is rumored to be roaming these halls as a ghost. The castle’s ancient chronicles state that he will only be redeemed if a living woman kisses him on her knees. Sounds pretty strange, doesn’t it…?

At night, Joanna gets up to look for the bathroom. She only hears wind; a book falls from a shelf out of nowhere. And these heads on the old portraits all seem to turn after her…

She looks into a mirror – and freezes. Behind her is the Count, his eyes beseeching her for a kiss. And she would have to kneel to kiss him, because he is carrying his head under his arm, blood-dripping… Does Joanna feel like redeeming the count? What will happen if she does/doesn’t? You decide!

Describe the setting, the emptiness and the uneasy details. Let Joanna wonder what is going on and show her fear. In the end, go for the terrible shock effect!

Writing Prompt 18:

Gina’s beloved cat Tiger has been feverish and dizzy lately. At a fair, Gina sees a tent with a sign “Voodoo Healings $5.” Inside, she finds an old, hunched woman. She sits down in a strange chair with split rods, and her hair gets caught. The hag speaks a spell and gestures with her hands, then motions Gina to leave.

Outside at the fruit stands, Gina suddenly feels very sick, and it occurs to her what her hair could have been used for… Will she return to demand every single one of her strands back? Or will she already feel too sick and go for a more extreme solution? Will the old woman be gone or deny everything? You decide!

Don’t describe Gina’s fear, but instead describe what makes her scared: Show details of the witch’s looks and how the witch acts, describe Gina’s physical condition. Show how awful it is not to know where the horror is coming from. It will make your readers feel it strongly.

Writing Prompt 19:

When Lucy comes home, she finds her daughter Luna sitting on the floor sobbing, surrounded by broken glass. Luna has just smashed every single mirror in the house. She tells her mother that she saw ‘The Eater’ appearing behind her shoulder in the mirrors: Some dark silhouette that was coming to take a huge bite out of her.

Lucy tries to calm down her hysterical daughter, and is already going through a list of psychiatrists in the back of her head. In the evening, after cleaning up the house, she is applying make-up to go out for an important business dinner. Suddenly she notices huge black teeth appearing behind her in the little mirror…

Will Lucy shake it off as her imagination running wild? Or will she smash the make-up kit? How will she try to save herself and her daughter? And for how long can you avoid mirrors, which surround us… everywhere. You decide!

Have you ever had the feeling that you don’t know what’s going on? Pretty unsettling, right? Give disturbing, moody details about the silhouette, its appearances and effects, but don’t explain the why this is happening. We don’t know why terrible things happen to good people. And that’s scary.

Writing Prompt 20:

Zombie apocalypse has arrived. TV stations finally have the audience they deserve… For the zombies, it’s one huge party, and the humans are desperately holding onto their arms and socio-economic systems.

Four zombies are robbing a bank. Their advantages: Bullets don’t bother them, they really don’t need masks, and they have a natural gift to scare the shit out of the employees. Disadvantages: They are just so damn slow. Imagine a bank robbery in slow motion, and a couple of limbs falling off the robbers on their way out… Will the rotten gang get away thanks to their ‘Shock and Awe’? Or will the guards be quick-witted and find a way to protect themselves and attack? Where is the hunt going? You decide!

Show how absurd this scenario is. How is it different from an ordinary bank robbery? Think it through, and you will get to a couple of interesting scenarios.

Thriller Writing Prompts

Writing Prompt 21:

Jeff is the bloodhound type of a prosecutor. He is currently prosecuting the big ice cream company “Freezelicious.” They are accused of using harmful ingredients. Since Jeff took on that trial, he has been having the feeling that somebody is following him. Yesterday at the gas station, today during the break at a restaurant, and now this Mercedes has been behind him for 20 minutes.

He makes two daring and illegal maneuvers with his car, but just as he thinks he got rid of the Mercedes, it appears in his rearview mirror. He parks at a shopping center and disappears into the bathroom. After a while, the Mercedes driver comes in, and Jeff smashes him against the wall and starts to interrogate him. Turns out the guy isn’t sent by Freezelicious, but by their cheaper competitor Mega Cream. They want to make sure nothing bad happens to Jeff, because they are afraid Freezelicious wants to get him out of the way. Will Jeff just be pissed and throw the guy out? Or will he be secretly grateful? Has Freezelicious indeed planned an assassination? You decide!

Write Jeff’s inner dialogue in short sentences throughout the scene, and alternate it with action bits. Let him wonder whether somebody is following him (yes, no, yes, no) and what they could want. Show his anxiety and uncertainty.

Writing Prompt 22:

Seems like Amanda’s new co-worker Gregory does not waste any time: On his second day in office he asked her out. She declined, and the next week he asked her again with flowers in his hand. She explained he wasn’t her type, no hard feelings.

Today, when she leaves her house, she finds a shocking image: Somebody nailed her cat to the trashcan! In tears, she pulls her lose and buries her in the backyard. On the bus to work, dreadful thoughts race through her head: How can a human be capable of doing something like this? Did Apple suffer for long? Was it just some cruel and mindless kid? Is she in danger? And did she forget to close the bathroom window…?

At work, Gregory sticks his head into her office: “So how is your cat?” he asks… How will this terrible poker game continue? Can Amanda keep cool? You decide!

Again, get into Amanda’s head and play with her uncertainty. How would it make you feel if your co-worker was a dangerous maniac? Grief, terror, vengefulness, remorse… you can draw from all of these strong emotions.

Writing Prompt 23:

Herbert wants to call his son Gerd in from playing in the garden. But he only finds Gerd’s teddy with the head missing, and a note to bring 100,000 € to the Zombie House at the amusement park. If he informs police or doesn’t pay, he will get his son back like his teddy…

Four days later, police are waiting outside the Zombie House, while Herbert roams its eerie corridors, with a backpack filled with 100,000 €. Suddenly, out of the dark, a moldy looking hand grabs his backpack, while his son appears at the end of the corridor. He lets the backpack go and walks towards his son, who suddenly disappears… Will a wild chase between zombie masks ensue? What is waiting in the dark? Will the kidnappers notice the police, and what will they do then? You decide!

Uncertainty and mood! Describe the horrible thoughts of a father fighting for his son. Describe the dark, frightening atmosphere of the Zombie House. Here, your worst nightmares come true…

Adventure Writing Prompts

Writing Prompt 24:

An expedition into the jungle has gone wrong. Desmond is an intrepid, bearded explorer who set out with his team to explore the tropical wild. But they got caught by aborigines.

Then something strange happens: Affectionately, they are asked to put on shoes made of parsley and onion necklaces… Seems like these aborigines are hungry.

Jungle-smart Desmond knows their best bet is to make themselves look toxic. He orders his team to rub violet berries and black roots all over their bodies, to punch a couple of each other’s teeth out and to writhe and babble like an insane person. Will the wild tribe be disgusted, and what will they decide to do with them? Or will they just laugh and proceed to produce a tasty casserole? You decide!

Writing Prompt 25:

Four women are stranded on a small, rocky island. To their dismay, the boat they came in is leaky. The extreme situation makes their masks come off and exposes the true nature of each one:

Ellen freaks out. She blames Ruth for booking a damaged boat and Mary for forgetting to take walkie-talkies with them, even though she had been in charge of equipment.

Ruth can’t stop sobbing, she is pale and shaky and can’t be moved from the rock she is sitting on.

Mary tries to bring all of them onto the same page, so they can work together. She holds Ruth in her arms and sings to her.

Bethany makes a list of possible actions to take and tries to assign tasks to everyone (look for food, try to repair boat, look for material for smoking signal, etc…).

Describe the group dynamics. It could be an upward or a downward spiral. Will the women work together and find a way out of this? Or will they become worked up against each other and start to fight? Will a rescuing boat show up once they are at their lowest point and make them all feel shocked about themselves? You decide!

Writing Prompt 26:

Tobias and Rafael, two colleagues, are trying to reach the top of a mountain in the Himalayas. They are close to the peak, but Tobias knows it’s too dangerous to continue. Once they reached the top, it would get dark and cold, and the descent would be very dangerous. He decides to turn around, but he can’t get Rafael to come with him.

At night he is in his tent and hears Rafael asking for help over the walkie-talkie. The poor guy is sitting high up there in a freezing cold cave without food, and it’s not clear whether he will survive the night. Will Tobias risk his life for a colleague who has disregarded all safety rules? Or will he just encourage him over radio and pray? Will there be calm conditions the next day? You decide!

Action Writing Prompts

[ Read detailed tips about how to write an action/fight scene her e . ]

Writing Prompt 27:

Alfredo is a celebrity cook who loves the good life. That’s why he owes the mafia money.

One day, two gentlemen shaped like bull dozers in suits pay him a visit. They quickly surround him and send him friendly reminders to pay with their brass knuckles and baseball bats. But Alfredo is quick and flexible. He rams a cucumber into their ribs, then quickly jumps over the big counter in the middle of the kitchen.

The weapon of a cook is food… He throws some butter at their feet, so they slide and stumble, and scatters pepper into their eyes. Howling, disorientated and furious, they speed in opposite directions around the block. Alfredo quickly jumps onto the counter, and coming from opposite directions, they crash into each other like colliding trains and stay on the floor unconscious. Alfredo goes on to cook a celebratory cake.

Will the two suddenly wake up and go for Alfredo again? How will he get their heavy bodies out of there? Or is this won already? You decide!

Mix the threat and pain of the cold-blooded torturers with quick dynamic phrases of action (verbs of movement; commas not full stops; graphic descriptions).

Writing Prompt 28:

Prison break time is the best time of the year: Hector, Axl, and Hans have been digging their way to freedom for months. Tonight, they lift the tiles for the last time, hastily crawling through the narrow tunnel. Stuck in the middle, they hear an alarm going off. How were they discovered so quickly? When they block the tunnel behind them with earth and debris, it feels like filling their own graves.

They hear guards crawling after them while rapidly digging the last tunnel part. Once out in the forest, they run! They discuss splitting up, but Hans refuses. They hide in trees, but are discovered by police quickly. They jump into a river, hearing police dogs behind them. Flushing down the river, a waterfall comes up. Whaaaam, freefall! Surely no policeman or dog can follow them here, so they feel safe finally! Until they are washed right into the arms of police waiting at the shore… How is that possible?

The cops have handcuffs for Hector and Axl, and a towel for Hans, who takes a tracker out of his sock… Will the other two try to strangle him? What will be his reward, and how could he have the guts to betray his companions? You decide!

Make it a big surprise and mystery how the cops always know where they are. And give us a taste of what it feels like to be human prey: Use short, quick, hectic sentences to give a sense for the quick pace of the hunt.

Writing Prompt 29:

The “Three Apples” hospital is in flames. On the 9 th floor, nurses Jenny and Linda try to save the babies of the preemie ward. The way downstairs is already blocked by flames, and there is only one way left: Up!

The girls are on the rooftop with the babies, and Jenny brought a container, and a sheet they use as a “cable.” She ties one end around a chimney and sails over the gap onto the neighbor building with a blood-freezing jump. They push the babies safely to the other side one by one like on cable cars, until only Linda is left. But she has major fear of heights, and now the babies are safe, her body has time to panic. The flames come closer.

Will Jenny be able to help her out with another trick? Will she find her courage, or will a helicopter rescue her at the last moment? You decide!

Babies and puppies are your best pawn! Make your reader fear for these helpless little creatures, and fall in love with their brave and quick-thinking helpers. You can heighten that effect by giving the girls very distinctive personalities, and showing their inner struggles. They are no superheroes, they have to earn this!

Historical/Medieval Writing Prompts

Writing Prompt 30:

The middle ages. One of the famous “morality plays” is played in the village. These are basically thinly veiled guidelines for the people on how to behave. This one is for kids though, and very short to allow for their attention span. It tells kids how to behave properly, so mom and dad will love them and they won’t go to hell.

The play features Adam, the good kid, clean and in white like an angel; and Roger, the bad kid, looking nasty in rugs and always misbehaving. Several allegories are also around: Obedience is a thin figure in a long, flowing dress, always looking down. Diligence is a muscular guy with rolled up sleeves and leather apron; Adam tries to be like him, while Roger bites his leg. In the end, Adam is showered with candy toys and even a pet calf, while Roger gets a bloodletting and an ass-whipping. But suddenly the kids in the audience start to cheer and stamp: The calf has lifted its tail and peed all over Adam!

Do the kids get their own morality out of that play? How will the director and authorities turn this around to keep them in line? Will independent thinking or order prevail? You decide!

Create a couple more figures for the “play within the play.” If you constantly switch between the reality of the village and the reality in the play, it will make for nice variety. Get creative on both ends!

Writing Prompt 31:

Francis is a troubadour all girls have a crush on, kind of the Justin Bieber of the 12 th century. He has been courting charming Amalia night after night under her window. Tonight, he sings her his romantic poem “Thou Art the Bellows of Mine Heart.”

Amalia is enchanted, but soon rumbling is heard in the house: Her father has woken up, and that usually leads to him chasing Francis around the house with a rolling pin. He is a wealthy merchant and doesn’t approve of her tie to a penniless poet. The rumbling becomes louder while they speak.

Finally, merchant Robertson rips open the front door and screams up at his daughter: “What happened to the rolling pin!!?” Turns out Amalia has wisely hidden it… Will merchant Robertson get even angrier now? Or will he be charmed by his baby’s wit? Will he do damage to her poor suitor? You decide!

Love is in the air, so describe how and why these two are sighing/yearning for each other: The longing, the flirting, the plans. Draw from romances in your own life, because love never changed throughout the centuries. Disrupt that romance with an angry, drowsy man for great effect!

Writing Prompt 32:

Ancient Rome: On a big “forum” (square), a slave auction is held. Huno, a big, muscular Alemannic slave in heavy chains is next in line. Gaius, a newly rich plebeian, wants to acquire him so he can wear himself out on his construction sites by pulling heavy blocks. Gracelanus, a town clerk, would treat Huno much better and use him as a body guard.

Huno is ordered to demonstrate his power, and he breaks thick logs of wood over his thighs. Gaius lets out humiliating comments like “Work it, proud animal!” or “All the brains are in his upper arms.” He gives him the whip several times to test his resilience. Gracelanus, on the other hand, remains quiet, only to applaud the demonstrations.

When the bid goes to 800 sesterces, these two are the only bidders left. Gaius is hesitating for a moment, and suddenly Huno turns to the side of the stage and lets a heavy log fall on Gaius’ feet. Screaming and swearing, Gaius jumps in circles, while the bid goes to Gracelanus. Will Gaius accept his defeat, or will he get back at them? If Huno is provoked further, can he keep his cool? You decide!

Slavery is disgusting to the modern reader. It has an even bigger effect, if you, the author, don’t judge. Just present the auction as everyday life. Huno’s humility to his own fate, Gaius’ cruelness… try to describe it without emotions.

Creative Writing Prompts PDF

Dialogue Writing Prompts

Writing Prompt 33:

Punker girl Samantha (pierced tongue, “Anarchy” tattoo, etc…) is detained for stealing a skateboard bit by bit from a sports store (wheels first, then axle, etc…). Her attorney George is a seasoned vet. At his office, he tries to explain to the stupid brat what’s about to happen and what he wants her to do in front of court: Explain that she had just been bored and curious how to dissemble a skateboard, wanting to prove herself, and that she would have brought the complete skateboard back. Samantha is not too concerned about all of this and wishes the old man was a little more chill.

Write their dialogue and show how differently they speak about their agendas, different words they use, tone, rhythm, etc… Will George hammer some sense into the teenager? Or will Samantha stay unimpressed and make him lose his cool? You decide!

What it’s good for:

It’s important your characters’ voices sound different from each other. This exercise trains you to give each character their distinctive voice.

Writing Prompt 34:

Greta has lent her pick-up truck to her cousin Iris to transport some furniture. Unfortunately, a little accident happened: The truck perfectly fit around the pillar of the gateway.

Iris enters the kitchen, where Greta is cooking. At first, she is afraid to confess and wants to cheer up Greta’s mood with some enthusiastic compliments. She hesitates and finally confesses.

Greta is busy and hectic when Iris enters, to get dinner ready before guests arrive. She is happy to see Iris return and asks about the furniture buying, then wants to rush her out of her kitchen. After Iris confesses, Greta feels like everything is going wrong on that day and becomes hysteric. Will Iris be able to calm her down? Or will the two women get into a big fight, just before the guests arrive? You decide!

This scene takes the two protagonists through a rollercoaster ride of emotions. It will train you to always let your characters express their feelings and to insert a lot of emotions into your scenes.

Writing Prompt 35:

Fibby & Fozzy are twins. Their mom has died recently, and their uncle Gerald wants to trick them out of the largest part of their inheritance. He just presented a new, fake will that would only leave them a small heritage. They discuss what steps they could take against their uncle’s scam, and they speak about it at their mom’s favorite place on earth, the zoo.

Show them walking through the scenery in a way that the animals provide some subtle subtext for whatever they are talking about. E.g. when they talk about how ruthless their uncle is, they watch a lion tearing his meat apart; when they talk about how they love their mother, they are watching a cute baby panda, etc…

This should improve your sense to connect what your characters are talking about with their environment. Adding a bit of subtext is easy and makes your scene deep and rich.

Writing Prompt 36:

A popular comedian sits on a park bench. He is the type that shocks and amuses his audience with outrageous ideas. A bum sits down next to him. The comedian asks the bum for change. Is this just a lighthearted joke that will ease out into a philosophical discussion about humanity? Or will the bum be seriously offended and react? You decide!

Train your characters to sound real with this one. When the erratic, playful, ruthless comedian clashes with the tired bum, you can lend your characters raw and realistic voices.

Character Writing Prompts

A. Writing Prompt 37:  Shading

Jeff is a very analytical-thinking stock broker; people call him cold-blooded. Sheryl is an elementary school teacher with a big heart. Andy is an always positive and slightly naive flight attendant.

Describe their characters and add one trait to each of them that doesn’t look like them at all. Describe why they have this trait.

Giving your characters an unexpected trait is called “Shading.” E.g. the wealthy, stingy man, who often gives to charity, so he can have the feeling his life has more meaning. If the unexpected trait makes sense, it will give your character a lot of depth and make her look very three-dimensional.

B. Writing Prompt 38: Description

Romeo is a young private detective who dresses like a college boy, with baseball cap and saggy clothes (excellent disguise!). Lana is a stressed restaurant manager. Hannah is a street-artist selling her artwork on a busy corner.

You are having coffee on a lazy Sunday afternoon and are observing each of them separately. Describe their looks, clothes, movements, etc…, so we get a sense for who they are.

Train to describe your characters with this one. Give your readers a sense for who your figures are, simply by listing observations about them. This is pure “Show, don’t tell!” and satisfying for your reader, as she feels like the observer herself.

C. Writing Prompt 39: Backstory

Mariella is an arrogant high-society lady with an expensive fur coat and a little poodle. Henry is a pickpocket with the body language of a beaten dog. Susan is a “speedy reporter,” always driven by the desire to get the latest news first.

Describe their backstories in a couple of sentences each: How did they grow up? What are their biggest fears and desires? What made them who they are? How were they hurt?

This prompt will get you into the habit of rooting your characters in a strong backstory. It will make them look as embraceable as your best friend.

D. Writing Prompt 40: Behavior

Hans is a funny hot-dog street vendor who likes to entertain his customers. Tia is a tax inspector who always welcomes expensive jewelry from companies. Laura is a waitress who is really good at making her customers feel welcome.

Show us how each of these characters would react to the following situations: Somebody carelessly shoving them on public transport. An acquaintance (not friend) asking them to borrow some money. Finding a beautiful rare snail during a bike trip.

Here you are letting your characters act out of their distinctive personalities. We all react very differently to the same situations. Let your figures express themselves!

Plot Writing Prompts

Take the following words and construct a story plot around them. Use them in any order. Describe a short plot summary. Try to add something: Characters, locations, subplots, details, twists. The more you add, the more colorful your story will become. The only rule is that you must use all of the words. Slashes mean you can pick between words.

Writing Prompt 41:

Suitcase – traffic jam – star – contract – drug – celebration – stairs/piano/autograph – beggar – apple

Writing Prompt 42:

Library – rodent – love/hobby/fanatic – magic – flowers – legend/fairy tale/rumor – birthday pie – clock

Writing Prompt 43:

Monastery/Brewery/Pet shop – breeding – tears – wheel – green – rebel – friend – cozy/thick/dirty

Writing Prompt 44:

Cigar – anger – policeman – pill – polite – celebrate/encourage/humiliate – husband – double-edged

Short Story Writing Prompts

Writing Prompt 45:

James and Agnes are throwing their engagement dinner. James’ ex Dina is invited too. Secretly, she still loves him and hates Agnes. During the dinner, she spreads the rumor that Agnes scammed her boss Dimitri out of money/cheated on her fiancée with several of her co-workers/infected people at her office with some disgusting disease. At the after-dinner reception, Dimitri shows up unexpectedly, which leads to really awkward situations for a couple of people.

How will the guests look at Dimitri, Agnes and James? Which awkward misunderstandings and accusations will it lead to? Will somebody clear this up and get Dina kicked out, or will James lose all his trust in his fiancée? You decide!

Writing Prompt 46:

Bruno and Benedict are two kids selling lemonade at their street stand. It’s not going well. A stranger in a trench coat, with a wig and huge sunglasses stops by. He offers to buy all of their lemonade, if they do him a quick favor: Over there on the park bench, a guy with a big sports bag/lady with an expensive jewelry necklace/businessman with a black briefcase is sitting. They should threaten him/her with the knives they use for cutting lemons, and bring him the sports bag/necklace/briefcase. He says it’s a prank for a TV show.

Will the kids agree, and will they actually pull through? If yes, will the wigged guy escape untroubled? Or will the little ones be smart, maybe talk to the guy/woman on the bench? You decide!

Writing Prompt 47:

Randolph is a casino supervisor. He has a crush on that new croupier Lara. Lara on her part has a plan to take her own extra salary from the casino… The two stay after closing hours and get into a risky game: They will play one hour of roulette. If Lara wins, Randolph will turn a blind eye in the upcoming month while chips “disappear.” If James wins, Lara will sleep with him.

Who will come out in front? Or will they call it a draw and declare two winners? And how will the dynamics between the two of them develop during the game? You decide!

Writing Prompt 48:

Gary has been sleepwalking lately. When he wakes up in his bed, he doesn’t remember where he has been, but he finds oily car parts/squashed chocolate/earthy bones in his bed (depending on the genre you want to write in).

Gary’s nephew Walter is working at the car repair shop/chocolate factory/graveyard of the village. Gary asks him to stay at night after his shift, and observe what he is doing in his sleep. But is it even a coincidence Walter is working there? Is Gary subconsciously trying to tell his nephew something, to warn him, help him, or even sabotage him? Will Walter discover something funny or terrible, and can he even tell his uncle the truth the next day? You decide!

Creative Writing Prompts PDF

Writing Prompts with Pictures

Write a story around the following image:

Writing Prompt 49:

Picture Writing Prompt

Writing Prompt 50:

Picture Writing Prompt

Image: Interior Design/Shutterstock

Writing Prompt 51:

Picture Writing Prompt

Image: LaCozza/Fotolia

Writing Prompt 52:

Picture Writing Prompt

Image: anibal/Fotolia

Writing Prompts for Writer’s Block

If you are troubled by writer’s block, try one of these exercise. You will find your mind flowing freely again.

Writing Prompt 53:

Think of a very happy day in your life. Describe what happened on that day and how it made you feel. Were you anticipating it when you woke up, or did you have no idea? What did the people around you say or do?

Just write and don’t overthink. What you write really doesn’t matter. This exercise is designed to get you excited and get your juices flowing, and that’s the only thing that matters.

Writing Prompt 54:

Hansel walks up to Gretel and asks her if she wants to go to the lake with him. She says yes. They dance off into the sunlight.

The most commonplace plot in the world.  Your job is to write the entire scene as badly as you can. Uninteresting characters, predictable dialogue, action that makes no sense… Please make sure to mess it all up. The worse, the better! If everybody who reads it cringes, you have succeeded. And if you want, send it to me, and I will tell you how awesome it is you finally got back to writing: alex at ridethepen dot com.

Writing Prompt 55:

Pick the window that’s closest to you right now, as you read this. Look through it. Describe what you see in detail!

For this exercise, completely turn around at least one of your writing rituals: If you usually write at a desk, write on the couch or the floor; if you usually write by computer, write by hand; etc… The new approach will give you a fresh start.

Story Starters Writing Prompts

[ Read a post with 31 ways to start your story here . ]

Write a story starting with the following sentences:

Writing Prompt 56:

Anderson knew Amanda as a cheerful person. But on that Wednesday, when she came into the office, she was carrying a big basket, and she looked really sad.

Writing Prompt 57:

Kai looked up at his scary task. This was the craziest thing any contestant of “Where there’s a will, there is a million” ever had to do. It was because he was first! Nobody had ever gotten one step from the million…

Writing Prompt 58:

“Once bitten, twice shy.” That’s all Emma could think while looking at handsome Luis and his bullterrier with the huge jaws. “Once bitten, twice shy.”

Writing Prompt 59:

The day Iggy came into Jasmine’s life, the postman rang twice. That was very unusual, and the reason why it happened was unusual too.

Writing Prompt 60:

Getting stood up at the altar is every bride’s worst nightmare. But what if it happens the other way around? On the day of her wedding, Sophie was nowhere to be found.

Writing Prompt 61:

“I’m so happy, Uncle Albert!” Priscilla screamed into her cell phone as her train was speeding towards London. At that moment, nobody knew that a far-reaching confusion would take place on the train soon.

Unusual Creative Writing Prompts

Writing Prompt 62:

Imagine you are a dog. Now tell me about a day in your life from your perspective. How do you spend your time? Waiting, going for a walk with your owner, hunting a cat? Which emotions do you feel? What concerns you, what makes you happy? What matters? What do you want? Follow your wet snout and describe a typical day.

Writing Prompt 63:

Kurt and Sarah are neighbors in the same building, and they are arguing in the hallway. Kurt thinks he lent Sarah three eggs she never replaced. Sarah claims she replaced them a long time ago.

Emma, an elderly lady, passes by and feels obligated to join: Sarah owes an egg, but it’s just one. The two of them tell her to keep walking, as it’s none of her business.

Erin, a student, passes by, and tries to get all of them to make up in the name of peaceful neighborhood.

Charles, a stressed dad, shouts at all of them to shut up.

Finally, the police comes by and issues a citation against all of them because of public disturbance.

Describe this absurd scene, in which each new participant tries to resolve the quarrel, but tops it up by one additional level. What a mess! Show the good intentions of every party, and how the dialogue finally draws them into the argument. Have fun!

Creative Writing Exercises PDF

You can download a complete collection of all the prompts on this page on a neat sheet. Enter your email here for your PDF of printable writing prompts:

Creative Writing Prompts PDF

For Your Consideration…

Check Out These Interesting Writing Prompt Pages As Well:

The Wealthy Writers Club  features a list of over 100 very creative prompts (most of them are short ideas).

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Hey Riders,

I wrote this sometime back, and thought it’d be best if I shared it with y’all. I’d already gotten a review from (the amazing) Alex, and he encouraged me to put it up here for all to see. Anyway, hope you like it. comments and recommendations are welcome (positive, and if cutting, then constructive).

Happy riding!

P.S. I had some of the stuff for Gwen’s inner dialogue written in italics… not so sure how to do that here, though. Hoping you will get the drift though. P.P.S. This is prompt #2 ————————————————————————————————————————– Gwen sat at the dining table, sipping her coffee, choking back the bitter taste it left in her mouth. Not as bitter as what I am feeling now. She gazed at the large window that would fill the house with glorious, golden light on bright, sunny days. Now, the storm that was raging outside clouded the skies, and the panes dripped with rain whose fate was sealed. She sipped at the coffee, and swallowed painfully, forcing the black liquid to pass the lump that had formed in her throat, and fan out hotly behind her heart which she felt sure was turning to ice. By the window was Chris’ seat. His wickerwork chair he had bought from China during a trip with his student group. She snickered. How long did he think I was not going to find out? Idiot. She sipped at the coffee, and swallowed. The jacket she had bought for him was sprawled on it. Prime leather, as black as sin. And his heart, too. Twenty years of loving the man poured into buying that jacket, only for it to be poured out like spent coffee grounds. She sipped at her coffee, and looked at the clock. Two minutes past six. He always left the bathroom at two minutes past six. As if on cue, he walked into the room, clad in his thick cotton bathrobe. “Whew, what a day it’s been!” he sighed, slipping his hands into the pockets of the robe. Gwen chose not to listen to him; her attention was fully on the jacket. “Sweetie, is there any more coffee? I need the warmth,” he continued, before his voice became as smooth as oil. “Or will you substitute the coffee?” “Why have coffee, when you have the option of green tea?” Gwen sipped at her coffee, slowly turning to face him. His rich brown eyes were puzzled for a moment, before the corners crinkled in amusement. That did it. She flung the coffee mug at him, and he ducked just as fast. The mug exploded on the glossy white wall, coffee streaming down it like rotten blood from a sore wound. “How dare you find this funny?” she screamed, rising up and walking to the wicker chair. She picked up the jacket, sodden and heavy, and tossed it at him across the length of the room. “Explain that, Chris. Explain why you would do this to me!” “Sweetie, what do you mean?” His voice was filled with worry, fear; did she detect a slight quiver? He turned over the jacket, then his eyes widened in realisation. He knows I know, the lying bastard. The lipstick on the collar, red as his neck would be in a few minutes. “Honey, I can explain…” he started, but Gwen could not bear hearing him call her that. How many more has he called sweetie, or honey? She screamed, anger almost blinding her. Or was it the tears? The hurt? She couldn’t say. “Chris, how could you? Twenty years is nothing to you, is it? All we’ve been through, all we’ve faced, and you decide to have it with a whore. A whore, Chris! A slut whose name you can’t even remember!” She picked up a fine porcelain vase Chris had gotten for her birthday. “Gwen, please, calm down, and I can explain everything.” His tone wa soft, almost pleading. Pleading for forgiveness, which I won’t give today. She flung the vase at him. either he didn’t see it coming, or was slow to react. The vase shattered against his head, the shards burying deep into the thick black locks of his hair. He cried out in pain, then crouched down low. Gwen felt a shocking stab of triumph. Why am I enjoying this? “Gwen, what’s gotten into you? Trust me, it’s not what it seems!” Chris got up, a tiny rivulet of blood oozing across his forehead, into his left eye. “Give me a chance to explain everything!” “As far as I know Chris, you have never gotten into me, for as long as I can remember, and you decided to, what’s the word, get ¬into someone else.” She picked up a golf club from its bag – his bag – next to the chair of iniquity. She glowered as she saw him cower back in fear. “Gwen…” “No, Chris, this isn’t meant for you, though the thought of crushing your cunning serpent, along with his nest of eggs, would greatly satisfy me.” She saw his neck muscles cringe at the description. “Gwen, please. I can explain everything – JUST GIVE ME A CHANCE, WOMAN!” She screamed, a feeble attempt at drowning him out, before pushing past him and running out of the house, through the door and into the rain. She spotted his car; his beloved Kia. Did he do it in our car, with that slut? She yelled in anger, anger that seemed to seep out of every pore and element of her being. A scream she felt must have been last used by a Viking berserker; primal and raw. She smashed in the window, the shards mixing with the rain like diamonds. The next swing landed on the bonnet, denting it and taking a big scrape out of the primer. The third shattered the windscreen, and it fell like a delicate fractal plate of ice. She stopped counting after eight, and by the time she was done, the rain had soaked the interior, the system console was cracked, and the steering wheel was awkwardly askew. She was taking in deep gulps, gasping for air. It’s cold, invisible barbs poked at her throat, mixed with the taste of coffee, rage and blood. She realised she had bit her lip, and the blood was dripping onto the wet driveway in big splotches, mingling with the rain. Chris came up from the dry safety of the porch. If he was angered about the car, she couldn’t see it. She began to sob, and fell to the paved driveway, too exhausted to keep standing. She felt Chris’ warmth, smell and presence surround her. “Gwen, it’s alright. Just give me a chance to explain, please.” “I told you, no, Chris. I can’t keep on living if you were to leave me for another.” She let out another sob, and suddenly felt cold. She held on to Chris, even though he was as drenched as she. Still, she needed to feel if he was real; the Chris she knew would never cheat on her. “Gwen, I was with my students, and for a change, we decided to go have our classes at Wong’s over a light lunch.” His voice was soothing, comforting, real. She pulled him closer. She needed that reality more than anything. “The day began so wonderfully, Gwen; the sky was as blue as your eyes, and I felt it would be best to wear the jacket, and think of you and us.” Now my eyes are red, and puffy. Could he still want me? She felt his tender hand push away wet strands of her hair from her face. She didn’t want to look at him; the very idea of seeing his lips mention that he had slept with another woman – or one of those students? – revolted her. “When we were leaving, it started to rain, and I had to make sure my students got home dry and safe. I gave Nessa my jacket – you remember Nessa; she came to see you at the hospital – to cover herself as we walked to the bus stop. I saw her off, then rushed to my parking spot at the café we always use for our meetings. She had some lipstick on; she was from a date with her fiancé before the class began. It must have rubbed off on my jacket” He wrapped her in his big arms, and she could smell the fragrance of the soap he had used. “I swear, I would never walk out on you, Gwen. Never.” “But I had a miscarriage, Chris. Twenty years, and no children. I thought you didn’t want me anymore, now that we can’t have children…” she sniffled, pushing back the memories of the hospital. The smell of antiseptic, green walls, overly sympathetic nurses… the pain associated with them haunted her still. Haunting me to a point where I’d think my husband would never love me? Yet here he is, with me in the rain, even though I’ve smashed our car to pieces. “Chris, I’m sorry I could never be the wife you wanted. You always wanted kids, even before we got married, you’d say how much of a father you wanted to be. Because of me, you can’t have that dream become a reality.” She began to cry, before Chris gently shushed her. “Before I wanted kids, I wanted you. And as long as I have you, Gwen, well – this is cheesy, but – I don’t need anything else. You’re the most perfect, most amazing woman I know. You are the wife I’ve always wanted.” He chuckled at his feeble attempt of professing love. She found herself giggling. He had always made her laugh with his corny declarations of affection. Probably that’s what I’ve always about him; he is real, and honest, and true. “Can we stay here a bit longer?” She nuzzled up to him. “We haven’t done this since college; our vain attempt at recreating The Notebook.” “Oh, yeah; remember when we almost got struck by lightning?” He laughed, and Gwen smiled up at him. What more could I ask for?

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Hey Eddie, good to see you posting this here, because… somebody has to go first, right?

And like I wrote to you via email, this is a great piece of writing. Love the psychology, the dynamics and the details. Plus, you have a wonderful feeling for metaphors, similes, images, etc… Nice!

So who’s next…?

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I want to post my prompt and to get it published too. I have two prompts I have finished writing.

Sounds good, just post your prompts here in the comments. Go for it, I’m curious to see what you have got!

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Nice profile pic Alex

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Alex, these are the best ever!

Prompt 52 I think is my favorite. Two of the subjects I enjoy are stone-age fiction and science fiction. What nice marriage that prompt brings. Oh, hmm, maybe there could be a real one in that story, seed and egg age difference of 40,000+ years and still viable. No, I gotta quit now. Too much on my desk to handle immediately.

I’ll try to come up with a good prompt in perhaps a week. Kinda busy here at the moment.

Number 16, perhaps Cryptofreeze™ could have a companion, Cryptoflow™ to un-age. Wouldn’t that be really something, the two of them keeping on missing each other by several decades; ironing out their schedule and venue misunderstandings and trying again.

Eddie, I’m going to come back and read yours.

Thanks, Will! Oh, you are thinking along the lines of a love child in space and stone. And number 16, yes, that would be awkwardly tragic and funny. Imagine the thought of just waking up from a couple of decades in the freezer, slowly learning to move your limbs again, and buying some flowers to show up at her doorstep – only to learn that you have to do the freezing all over again…

I know, these exercises take more time than the prompts I usually publish in my posts. But when you are ready, I would love to read yours.

Hey, Alex, writing writing prompts is hard. I feel an urge to keep writing rather than stopping at the prompt. When I promised I’d make one, many days ago, I didn’t know what I had let myself in for.

Your blog sends me a copy of every comment posted on this page. They’ve served as prompts to write a writing prompt.

Writing Prompt # (no particular genre):

He knew he shouldn’t do it, even as he did it. But it was too delicious a thought to be abandoned. It simply had to be created to share with others.

It was a bad, bad habit, he had. A divine idea would arrive, an idea so clear and insightful and, well, full of awesomeness, that it must be manifested. Somehow. And the first step in the direction of that “somehow” was to make a promise to do it. Not a self-promise that nobody else knows about and is easy to neglect, but a promise to someone whose goodwill was important.

As expected, he did it again, true to his habit.

Immediately after he stated the promise, making it irrevocable, he had a sinking feeling.

Your assignment, dear reader who is also a writer, should you choose to accept it, is to unveil the promise and the consequences the poor bloke experiences because of it.

And now, Alex, let me make another promise. That I’ll write a short little story from one of your prompts. Perhaps the cave man prompt I mentioned earlier.

Hey Will, it happens to the best. Your prompt now is to take your time and write whenever you are ready. It doesn’t have to be very long, btw. Sometimes a couple of imaginative paragraphs create a great story in the reader’s mind.

Well, if it happens to the best, then I must be the best, right? 🙂

This story simply would not cooperate. It refused to become a “stone-age human meets space-suited human”. And insisted to finalize at 1700+ words.

Be all that as it may, here is what the story insisted it must be.

=====================================

Wzzt, the Martian

If they were translated, the whistles and grunts would have meant, “Wzzt, it has been decided that you will welcome the interlopers.”

Wzzt’s protest sounded like a wounded pig. A foreign listener would not have been much deceived.

——

“Base, I see tracks.”

Mars. Every dream, every night since he could remember, from little boy to adult at expedition training, Sam dreamed about Mars — although he could never recall specific details. And here he was.

“Well, I hope you see tracks. You’re following Opportunity’s path.”

“No, these are light tracks on top of what the dust storm left way back in 2018. Round, about the width of my hand, with marks that might be toes or claws.”

“Well, take some pictures and we’ll figure it out when you get back.”

Joe smirked, thinking his trainer was making a fool of himself. On this, their very first mars external operation. He gloried in anticipation of discrediting Sam. Joe had seen the tracks, too, but Sam reported it to base before he had a chance to do so. For once, he was happy not to be first.

It’s impossible, of course, Sam thought. Decades of satellite and robot explorations had proved Mars habitat is inimical to life more complex than bacteria. The track must be something else.

Sam and Joe, trainer and trainee, proceeded along Opportunity’s path, approaching the base of a cliff. In the shadow of the cliff, the two stopped short.

Sam forgot to draw a breath until his body reminded him.

“Base, there is a creature in front of us. It is about half my height with a roundish body, no neck, three short legs with feet that could have made the tracks we saw earlier. It waddles. And it is slowly approaching us.”

“Shit. Pull your weapons, but don’t shoot unless you are in danger. Raise the gain of your mikes. And activate those external speakers we were told we had to have.”

The thing waddled to a comfortable distance, about five times its own height.

It said, “The first humans have arrived on Mars.”

Joe, wanting to be first with the asounding fact, reported, “It speaks English!”

Sam thought, “Shit. This one has tech.”

He followed his thought with, “Base, it played a recording of our arrival transmission to Earth. On our very own comm channel!”

Base responded with, “Yes, we heard it. It seems we have a spheroid waddler with enough tech to intercept our radio transmissions to Earth, record them, and play them back to us on our comm channel. What the hell is it!”

Joe felt deflated. “Well, it did speak English!”

Base ignored Joe, following Sam’s lead like it always had during training and practice.

The thing said, “It speaks English! Base, it played a recording of our arrival transmission to Earth. On our very own comm channel! Yes, we heard it. It seems we have a spheroid waddler with enough tech to intercept our radio transmissions to Earth, record them, and play them back to us on our comm channel. What the hell is it! Well, it did speak English!”

Base told Sam, “That was not a recording. The same voice repeated what all three of us said. There is high intelligence.”

The things said, “Wzzt.”

Base, “What the hell was that!”

Sam, “Base, I think it refers to itself, it’s species or perhaps it’s name.”

Sam bent his knees, pointed at himself, and said,”Sam.”

The thing raised one of its legs and clumsily pointed at itself. “Wzzt.”

“Base, it seems that it’s name is however that word is pronounced.” Sam chuckles and continues, “Maybe we can introduce vowels to its language.”

Wzzt used a leg to point at Joe.

Sam looked at Joe. Joe was shaking.

For the millionth time Sam wondered how Joe got past the psych tests this mission put them all through. Maybe somebody really was bought off, someone who knowingly endangered the first manned mission to Mars by letting Joe slide into the team.

Sam activated Joe’s speaker and said, “Joe.”

Wzzt said, “Sam. Joe. Follow me to my cave,” turned around, and started waddling back the way it had come.

Sam grimmaced as the thought about psyche tests flitted through his mind. An utterly irresistible compulsion contrary to his innate sense of integrity had compelled him to ensure without doubt that he would be posted as head of Mars External Operations.

Sam said, “Base, it originated something. None of us ever said ‘Follow me to my cave,’ or at least not on a radio. It must have learned by listening to us.

Base, “Follow it. But carefully!”

Sam hurried forward, saying “Yes, Base.”

But Joe didn’t move. He seemed to be rooted.

Suddenly, Joe yelled, “It’s an abomination! Humans are the only intelligence! I’ll rid the world of this mad disease!”

Joe raised his weapon to do just that. Base, alert, deactivated it before it could fire.

Base, “Sam, proceed. Please be carefull. I don’t want to lose you.”

Base continued. “Joe, stay where you are. That is an order. Sam will accompany you back to base on his return.”

Then, “Sam, this is private. As you suspected, there were psyche test anomalies. Confirmation came in just before you met Wzzt, however that thing is pronounced.”

“I realize you have no first contact training,” Base continued. “Who would have thunk you’d need it; here, of all places! Use your own judgement and do what you think is right. If we delay for a partner to join you, this opportunity may be lost.”

Wzzt led the way to the cliff.

“Base, there’s a small hole in the cliff, behind a jut and under a rock shelf. Surveilance would have found it only by being within sight on ground level.

Wzzt held up a foot, a clear signal to stop. Then pointed his foot toward the hole.

“This is my cave.”

Wzzt lowered its foot, re-balanced itself, and continued, “If you come in, radio is lost.”

“You are welcome to come in.”

“Base, you heard Wzzt. It is civilized enough to give me a choice. I’m going in, if I can squeeze through that hole.”

“I don’t like this, Sam!”

“Base, you gave me authority.”

“Agreed.”

Wzzt entered the hole.

When Sam entered, it seemed as if the hole expanded to let him through.

Once inside, the light was dim. But he sensed it was a large cavern.

When his eyes adjusted to the dim light, Sam got a surprise. There was Opportunity, taken apart; but not haphazardly. The pieces were laid out in an orderly fasion, each piece labeled.

A dozen creatures of Wzzt’s shape were standing along the wall.

“Base,” Sam started. Then remembered he had no comm signal.

Two of the creatures along the wall stepped forward with an apparatus, setting it near Sam. A dial was turned.

Wzzt said, “Radio found.”

Tentatively, Sam says, “Base, Wzzt tells me we have comm.”

“Clear and no distortions, Sam.”

“Base, Opportunity is in this cave. Taken apart. By experts. No wonder we couldn’t find it after that dust storm. I’ll send you some visual.”

“Sam, are you okay? There are a lot of Wizzes in that cave.”

“Base, they are friendly. They provided the unit that established our comm from within the cave.”

“Sam! Joe has moved. He is running toward your cave. He’s going inside.”

Joe popped through the entrance hole. He grabbed Sam’s weapon, pointing it at Wzzt. Before Sam had a chance to react, Wzzt shriveled into char.

Sam launched himself toward Joe to take him down.

Suddenly, he halted in mid-flight, suspended. He didn’t and couldn’t move. Neither could Joe, being frozen in a leaning-back defense stance. The two were in a static space of some kind, a total absence of motion.

One of the creatures walked over to Wzzt’s ashes and collected them with a deep bag on a handle reminisent of a butterfly net.

The creature waddled over and forcefully put the bag over Joe’s head all the way down to his shoulders.

In less than a minute, the bag was removed and Joe was able to move. He almost fell down, then regained his balance.

When Joe spoke, it was Wzzt’s voice, “Sam, I am Wzzt. The Joe entity forfeited its right to exist when it tried to take my life.”

The Wzzt/Joe bent, straightened, and twisted, as he got familiar with the new body.

“Humans have strange bodies.”

Then from the radio, blared a frantic, “Sam! Base is lifting! The rockets are firing. According to the instruments we’re headed for rendezvous with Orbiter.”

“Sam, we have no control of the rockets or our trajectory.”

“Sam? Are you there? Talk to me!”

Sam desperately wanted to respond. But he couldn’t move. Nor could he make a sound.

“Base, this is Wzzt speaking through the body you knew as Joe. The life essence that was Joe is no more. It used its every effort to kill me, reducing my body to ashes.”

“We will no longer tolerate you and your kind on or near our planet. Except Sam, who we have chosen to learn from.”

“For decades we have watched you and learned about you. Monitoring established your Earth citizens to be capricious and destructive, at odds with each other, and focused on individual benefit, a mad melee reminding us of the animals that finally reduced themselves to extinction on this very planet you call Mars.”

“Do not come back. If in the future Sam wishes to return to Earth, he will be provided with transportation.”

The communicator was removed and Sam’s stasis was released. He noticed his gun was fully charged. He felt normal, healthy, energetic.

He looked at Wzzt, who was still becoming familiar with his new body.

“What now, Wzzt?”

Suddenly, with a silent, thunderous mental bang, Sam remembered everything.

Wzzt said, “Now you remember, friend Zzzt. Your mission was a success. It will be a long time before humans land on our planet again. We will be fully prepared.”

Sam/Zzzt suddenly felt awkward in his body, but quickly regained control.

In a moment, Zzzt emitted whistles and grunts that meant, “You know, friend Wzzt, they really are a strange species. There is little cohesion.”

Zzzt looked around. All the creatures in the cavern, his people, his friends and some new ones, were ringed around him, one leg raised pointing at him in a silent salute.

Will Bontrager

Oh how strange we have become. We are the aliens.

That was a fun read, Will!

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All of those writing prompts sound fun and wonderful. it is going to hard to pick just one to write on. 

 Thank you 

That’s great to hear, Bruce.

Have fun with them!

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Really useful…. 🙏thanks

Awesome! You are welcome!

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Thank you for all the great resources. I am new to writing and have written a couple of pieces for the Show don’t Tell section on your site. Cheers, Tilly

Kayla was a talented piano player Kayla Vlasov sat at the grand piano, her back straight, her delicate hands poised on the shiny black and white octaves. The audience in the front row noticed how Kayla’s legs hung demurely from the stool, her feet barely reaching the pedals. Kayla’s expression was focussed. Nothing else existed when she was about to play the piano. With her right index finger, she struck middle C. The vibration went through to the audience’s marrow and sent a shiver down their backs. Thunderous applause. This would be an evening to remember.

Winny felt shy Winny held her mother’s hand, as they walked through the gates of Newtown Primary School. A teacher with a warm smile and auburn hair bouncing along with each step came towards them. The child hid behind her mother, wishing she could disappear between the folds of her skirt. Warm tears gathered in Winny’s eyes and she lifted her other hand to her mouth, hoping the teacher wouldn’t notice her quivering bottom lip.

Hi Tilly, these are excellent!

Not only do you “show” what’s the matter, but these are also fun pieces full of atmosphere.

If anybody is wondering where the prompts come from, it’s this post about “Show, don’t tell”: https://www.ridethepen.com/show-dont-tell/

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Thank you Alex for the great prompts

You are welcome, Maria! 🙂

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I would like to use Freezelicious. For a villain name.

Sounds like evil ice cream!

Lol it is. I want Freezelicious. To be a villain in a spy book I’m writing.

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I really have a problem with prompt 24 on the adventure prompts. It feels very dehumanizing to indigenous peoples to portray them in that way and it perpetuates harmful stereotypes. I would suggest removing it because it is insensitive.

Hi Jessica, your comment is heard, but I would consider this excessive political correctness, of which the world already is seeing too much nowadays.

Everything is a stereotype – especially in a writing prompt! Your job as a writer is to then lay out a colorful story that draws the reader in, precisely because it’s so far away from any stereotype, which makes it interesting.

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Looking for something else?

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Hi Alex. Paragraph

I live in a senior residence and have taken on the adventure of coordinating a creative writing group. We have completed a year and I am very enthusiastic about the level of commitment and effort the students have put into all the assignments. This coming year we will be offering to include more people in the group. but since a number of people will be returning I have been looking for some different kinds of exercises to prompt and teach the students.

The prompts seem like a splendid opportunity for all the people in the group to try their hand without having to create new material right off the bat. I will let you know the kind of responses I get. Thanks for putting this together

Hey Pat, sounds great, I imagine in a senior residence people have plenty of time to write. Plus, you are living next door to your critique partners. Would be interesting to hear what came out of it and which prompts were used the most.

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Nice profile pic Alex. Wanna meet up?

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Juan puerco, nice feet. Are they smelly

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50 Fantastic Creative Writing Exercises

creative writing worksheets for writers

Good question.

Creative writing exercises are designed to teach a technique. They are highly specific, more specific than creative writing prompts, and much more specific than story generators.

Creative writing exercises for adults are not designed to lead the writer into crafting a full story, but are only designed to help them improve as a writer in a narrow, specific category of writing skills.

I’ve broken the exercises below into categories so you can choose what category of skill you’d like to practice. Can you guess which category in this list has the most prompts?

If you guessed characters, then you’re right. I think characters are the heart blood of every story, and that a majority of any writing prompts or writing exercises should focus on them.

But I also think any of these will help you create a narrative, and a plot, and help you generate all kinds of dialogue, whether for short stories or for novels. These writing exercises are pretty much guaranteed to improve your writing and eliminate writer’s block. 

Also, if you’re a fledgling writer who needs help writing their novel, check out my comprehensive guide to novel writing.

Enjoy the five categories of writing exercises below, and happy writing!

five senses

1. Think of the most deafening sound you can imagine. Describe it in great detail, and have your character hear it for the first time at the start of a story.

2. Have a man cooking for a woman on a third date, and have her describe the aromas in such loving and extended detail that she realizes that she’s in love with him.

3. Pick a line from one of your favorite songs, and identify the main emotion. Now write a character who is feeling that emotion and hears the song. Try to describe the type of music in such a beautiful way that you will make the reader yearn to hear the song as well.

4. Have a character dine at a blind restaurant, a restaurant in pitch blackness where all the servers are blind, and describe for a full paragraph how the tablecloth, their clothing, and the hand of their dining partner feels different in the darkness.

5. Select a dish representative of a national cuisine, and have a character describe it in such detail that the reader salivates and the personality of the character is revealed.

Dialogue exercises

7. Describe two characters having a wordless conversation, communicating only through gestures. Try to see how long you can keep the conversation going without any words spoken, but end it with one of them saying a single word, and the other one repeating the same word.

8. In a public place from the last vacation you took, have two characters arguing, but make it clear by the end of the argument that they’re not arguing about what they’re really upset about.

9. Write a scene composed mostly of dialogue with a child talking to a stranger. Your mission is to show the child as heartbreakingly cute. At the same time, avoid sentimentality. 

10. Have two character have a conversation with only a single word, creating emphasis and context so that the word communicates different things each time it is spoken. The prime example of this is in the television show “The Wire,” where Jimmy and Bunk investigate a crime scene repeating only a single expletive.

creative writing worksheets for writers

11. Pick an object that is ugly, and create a character who finds it very beautiful. Have the character describe the object in a way that convinces the reader of its beauty. Now write a second version where you convince the reader (through describing the object alone) that the character is mentally unstable.

12. Write down five emotions on slips of paper and slip them into a hat. Now go outside and find a tree. Draw one emotion from the hat, and try to describe that tree from the perspective of a character feeling that emotion. (Don’t mention the emotion in your writing — try to describe the tree so the reader could guess the emotion).

13. Describe a character’s bedroom in such a way that it tells us about a person’s greatest fears and hopes.

14. Root through your desk drawer until you find a strange object, an object that would probably not be in other people’s drawers. Have a character who is devastated to find this object, and tell the story of why this object devastates them.

15. Go to an art-based Pinterest page and find your favorite piece of art. Now imagine a living room inspired by that flavor of artwork, and show the room after a husband and wife have had the worst fight of their marriage.

16. Pick a simple object like a vase, a broom, or a light bulb, and write a scene that makes the reader cry when they see the object.

creative writing worksheets for writers

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creative writing worksheets for writers

17. Make a list of the top five fears in your life. Write a character who is forced to confront one of those fears.

18. Write an entire page describing the exact emotions when you learned of a happy or calamitous event in your life. Now try to condense that page into a single searing sentence.

19. Think about a time in your life when you felt shame. Now write a character in a similar situation, trying to make it even more shameful.

20. Write a paragraph with a character struggle with two conflicting emotions simultaneously. For example, a character who learns of his father’s death and feels both satisfaction and pain.

21. Write a paragraph where a character starts in one emotional register, and through a process of thought, completely evolves into a different emotion.

Characters:

creative writing worksheets for writers

22. Create a minor character based upon someone you dislike. Now have your main character encounter them and feel sympathy and empathy for them despite their faults.

23. Have a kooky character tell a story inside a pre-established form: an instruction manual, traffic update, email exchange, weather report, text message.

24. Write about a character who does something they swore they would never do.

25. Have a character who has memorized something (the names of positions in the Kama Sutra, the entire book of Revelations) recite it while doing something completely at odds with what they’re reciting. For instance, bench pressing while reciting the emperors in a Chinese dynasty.

26. Write a paragraph where a character does a simple action, like turning on a light switch, and make the reader marvel at how strange and odd it truly is.

27. Have a couple fight while playing a board game. Have the fight be about something related to the board game: fighting about money, have them play monopoly. Fighting about politics, let them play chess.

28. Write about two characters angry at each other, but have both of them pretend the problems don’t exist. Instead, have them fight passive-aggressively, through small, snide comments.

29. Describe a character walking across an expanse field or lot and describe how he walks. The reader should perfectly understand his personality simply by the way you describe his walk.

30. Write a first-person POV of a character under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and try to make the prose as woozy and tipsy as the character.

31. Describe the first time that a character realizes he is not as smart as he thought.

32. Describe an hour in the life of a character who has recently lost their ability to do what they love most (a pianist who has severe arthritis; a runner who became a quadriplegic).

33. Write an argument where a husband or wife complains of a physical ailment, but their spouse refuses to believe it’s real.

34. Write a scene where a stranger stops your main character, saying that they know them, and insisting your main character is someone they are not. Describe exactly how this case of mistaken identity makes your character feel.

35. Describe a small personality trait about a person you love, and make the reader love them, too.

36. Write a personality-revealing scene with a character inside a public restroom. Do they press a thumb against the mirror to leave a subtle mark? Do they write a plea for help on the inside of the stall door? Do they brag about the size of what they’ve just dumped off?

37. Give your character an extremely unusual response to a national tragedy like a terrorist attack or natural disaster. Maybe have them be aware their response is unusual, and try to cloak it from others, or have them be completely unaware and display it without any self-consciousness.

38. Have one of your main characters come up with an idea for a comic book, and tell a close friend about the idea. What about this idea would surprise the friend, upsetting what he thought he knew about your main character? Also, what would the main character learn about himself from the comic book idea?

39. Think of an illness someone you love has suffered from. How does your character respond when someone close to them has this illness?

40. Have your main character invent an extremely offensive idea for a book, and show their personality faults through discussing it with others.

41. Have your character write down a list considering how to respond to their stalker.

42. Write a scene where a man hits on a woman, and although the woman acts repulsed and begs her friends to get him away from her, it becomes apparent that she likes the attention.

43. Write about a 20-something confronting his parents over their disapproval of his lifestyle.

44. Have your character write a funny to-do list about the steps to get a boyfriend or girlfriend.

45. Have a risk-adverse character stuck in a hostage situation with a risk-happy character.

46. For the next week, watch strangers carefully and take notes in your phone about any peculiar gestures or body language. Combine the three most interesting ones to describe a character as she goes grocery shopping.

47. Buy a package of the pills that expand into foam animals, and put a random one in a glass of warm water. Whatever it turns out to be, have that animal surprise your main character in a scene.

48. Have your character faced with a decision witness a rare, awe-inspiring event, and describe how it helps them make their decision.

49. Imagine if your character met for the first time his or her long-lost identical twin. What personality traits would they share and which ones would have changed because of their unique experiences? 

50. If a character got burned by a hot pan, what type of strange reaction would they have that would reveal what they value most?

Once you’ve taken a stab at some of these exercises, I’d recommend you use them in your actual writing.

And for instruction on that, you need a guide to writing your novel . 

That link will change your life and your novel. Click it now.

Creative Writing Exercises

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32 comments

John Fox, you have some excellent resources, and I thank you. I read your comments, then scrolled down to glance at the list of 50 exercises. The FIRST one, “loud noise’ is already in my head. My Hero is going to be side swiped in my Cozy. I was side swiped on a state highway here in Virginia a couple of weeks ago and, although the damage was minor, the sound of that big SUV “glancing” off my little car was SCARY!!! I once heard a fast-moving car REAR-END is stand-still car; that sound was something I’ll never forget. So, your exercise is very timely. THANK YOU!!!

This is a great list! Thanks!

You know what would be motivating? If we could turn these in to someone and get like a grade lol

I’ve been thinking a lot about “how to master writing,” and this is the first time that I found an article that makes it clear the difference between prompts and exercises. I fully agree with you. These are bound to make you a better writer if you focus on doing a variation of them daily.

An excellent list – thank you very much. I run a small writing group and we’ll be trying some.

Yes, thank you. I too run a small writing group and you got me out of a slump for tomorrow’s group!

yes,thank you . It’s good for improve your writing skills.

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What a lovely list! I am working on the final draft of my very first novel, and am constantly working at improving the final product. Your exercises are just what I need to kickstart my writing day. Thank you so very much.

Thank you very much When I turned50 I received my diploma from Children’s Institute in West Redding Ct I got my inspiration from being near water however now that I am in Oregon I have had a writing block thanks to your list my creative juices are flowing

I suppose I better have good punctuation, seeing this is about Writing. Thank you for this great list. I am the Chair of our small Writing group in Otorohanga and we start again last week of Feb. I have sent out a homework email, to write a A4 page of something exciting that has happened over the holiday break and they must read it out to the group with passion and excitement in their voices. That will get them out of their comfort zone!

A formidable yet inspiring list. Thank you very much for this. This is really very helpful. I am from India, and very new to writing and have started my first project, which I want to make it into a Novel. This has been very helpful and is very challenging too. Prompts look sissy when compared to this, frankly speaking. Thank you very much again.

Where can I get the answers for these?

There aren’t “answers.” You create responses to these exercises.

Thank you so much for the detailed suggestions focusing on HOW to put the WHAT into practice; really helpful & inspiring.

Just started rough drafting a story I’ve always wanted to write. Do you have any advice for someone writing their first real story? I’m having trouble starting it; I just want it to be perfect.

I consider this very helpful. Just started my journey as a creative writer, and will be coming back to this page to aid my daily writing goal.

I have always loved writing exercises and these are perfect practice for my competition. I have tried lots of different things that other websites have told me to try, but this by far is the most descriptive and helpful site that i have seen so far.

This is really a creative blog. An expert writer is an amateur who didn’t stop. I trust myself that a decent writer doesn’t actually should be advised anything but to keep at it. Keep it up!

I’ve always enjoyed writing from a little girl. Since I’ve been taking it a bit more seriously as does everybody else it seems; I’ve lost the fun and sponteneity. Until now…..this is a marvelous blog to get back the basic joy and freedom in writing. Or should that be of?:) These exercises are perfect to get the creative juices flowing again…..thank you:)

These are interesting exercises for writing.

These are fantastic! I started reading a really awesome book on creative writing but it just didn’t get any good or easy to follow exercises. So I found your site and having been having a lot of fun with these. Exactly what I was looking for, thank you!

creative and inspiring, thank you

I always wanted to have an exercise where a friend and I each wrote a random sentence and sent it to each other to write a short story from that beginning sentence, then exchange the stories for reading and/or critique. Maybe both writers start with the same sentence and see how different the stories turn out.

Thanks for these exercises. Some are really challenging. To truly tackle them I’m having to spend as long beforehand thinking “how the HECK am I going to do this?” as I do with ink on paper. Would be a great resource if other authors submitted their replies and thoughts about how they went about each exercise.

Start the conversation: submit one of yours.

I think I can use these to inspire my students.

Hi there. Thank you for posting this list- it’s great! Can I ask you to consider removing number 42 or perhaps changing it somewhat? I teach sex ed and every year am shocked by how many young people don’t understand issues around consent. Stories about woman who ‘say no but really mean yes’ are deeply unhelpful. Really appreciate your post but felt I had to ask. Thanks.

What’s wrong with the number 42?

It promulgates the belief that when a woman says no, she doesn’t mean it, potentially resulting in sexual assault.

I just make this list a part of my teaching in Creative Writing Classes. Very good list of ideas!

Thank you so much for posting this! I have used it to create a creative playwriting activity for my high school creative writing class–so much good stuff here for me to pick through and select for my kiddos that will allow them to shine and improve their knowledge of writing as a craft!

creative writing worksheets for writers

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7 Creative Writing Exercises For Writers

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Need a creative lift as a writer? Try these 7 creative writing exercises for writers to boost your writing skills.

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Has your creative well run dry? Are you struggling to find inspiration for your next written work? Creative writing exercises could be the answer.

creative writing worksheets for writers

Just like any other skill, the art and craft of writing will benefit from the frequent working and reworking of your practices and habits. Creativity exercises for writers could unlock that writer’s block that you have been struggling to overcome and spur you on to new and exciting creative directions. 

What are Creative Writing Exercises?

Creative writing exercises can take on many forms and can mean different things to different people. However, certain elements are common to most examples of creative writing exercises.

They are often produced in short, intense bursts, for one thing, and they are often entirely improvised. Improvisation is one of the earmarks of the creative writing exercises employed by many writers.

One other factor that most creative writing exercises have in common is that they often encourage the exploration and expounding of familiar subject matters in novel ways.

Many classes and guides that focus solely on developing creative writing techniques involve adopting short and spontaneous approaches. 

How often should writers practice creative writing exercises?

creative writing worksheets for writers

Regardless of what form a creative writing exercise takes, it is smart for writers to adopt these practices and incorporate them into their daily routines. The goal is to expand their writing skills and develop the ability to tell the same story in as many different ways as possible. 

Start by writing a few lines once or twice a week, spending only a few minutes each session. Gradually increase the length of each session and how many times you sit down to write per week.

Eventually, you could work up to about ten minutes per session, performing these exercises several times throughout the week. 

Here are 7 Creative Writing Exercises for Writers

creative writing worksheets for writers

If you feel like taking a break from a writing assignment or are between projects, you can try your hand at these creative writing exercises. They can also serve as inspiration for your next opus or strengthen your creative muscles. 

1. Follow your stream of consciousness.

creative writing worksheets for writers

Many writers have become conditioned to feel a great deal of stress or worry about being confronted by a blank page. This exercise will help you address this fear head-on. 

Get a piece of paper and start writing the first thing that comes to mind. Don’t even think about what you are writing or edit your thoughts. This type of writing is known as “free writing”. Author Julia Cameron referred to this as the “morning pages” in her award-winning book, The Artist’s Way . 

2. Work with different points of view.

creative writing worksheets for writers

If you find yourself struggling with expressing yourself, try switching up your point of view. Take a chapter from your favorite book, or even just a scene if you want to start slow. Write everything that takes place from the point of view of another character. The goal here is to communicate the story in another way. 

You could also vary this exercise by writing as if you are the main character by changing their point of view. If the story is written in the first person, try writing it from the third person. Be aware of the details that are omitted when you switch viewpoints. This frequently leads to an interesting new twist to the story. 

3. Take advantage of writing prompts.

Writing prompts or story starters can be invaluable writing tools that could encourage you to explore unfamiliar but interesting creative directions. These are sentences or short passages that could serve as springboards for writing spontaneous stories. 

We have many writing prompts lists here at ThinkWritten you can use for inspiration, including 365 Creative Writing Prompts , 42 Fantasy Prompts , and 101 Poetry Prompts .

4. Have a Conversation With Yourself

creative writing worksheets for writers

See what it’s like to write a letter or converse with yourself. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to have a conversation with your younger self, this is the perfect opportunity to do so.

You can choose any subject you want, from a significant social or political event or some words of wisdom to your younger version. Try to be as honest and as forthcoming as possible. The results might surprise you.

5. Try Writing Flash Fiction

creative writing worksheets for writers

Try to crank out a piece of flash fiction. As with other creative writing exercises, don’t spend too much time at it. Simply sit down in front of the computer or a piece of paper, and begin writing. Flash fiction doesn’t usually go beyond 500 words, so try to keep it short.

Note: It might be helpful to differentiate flash fiction from the freewriting exercise discussed earlier. While freewriting involves generating words and ideas in an unbridled stream of consciousness, flash fiction is more about writing within a set of guidelines. In this particular exercise, try incorporating structural elements such as plots, conflicts, and character development, all in the goal of developing a logical story arc. 

6. Practice writing fake ads

creative writing worksheets for writers

Writing fake advertisements is another potentially useful exercise. Few tasks can flex your creative muscles than trying to sell a product, person, company, or idea. You don’t need a lot to get started either. All you have to do is to select a word at random from a magazine or newspaper and get started writing an ad for it. 

It might help to write one ad in a more formal tone, similar to the classified ads published in newspapers. This exercise will train you in using a few words effectively to sell your subject. You can then write another ad in a style similar to that published in online marketplaces, which allow for longer text. In both exercises, try to convince your readers to purchase the product in as definitive terms as possible. 

7. Rewrite someone else’s story

creative writing worksheets for writers

Consider adopting a story from someone else and making it your own. Unlike the exercise that involves writing a story from another point of view, this one involves telling the same story from the same viewpoint but using your own words.

It could be any story you want to write about, from something a family member told you about or an urban legend that has long made the rounds of your town.

Whichever story you choose, try to write it as if it happened to you. If certain details are missing–which is often the case with old stories–don’t hold back from adding your own touches. You could even take a well-known story and write it as if you were there when the events took place. 

There are only a few of the creativity exercises for writers you can try. There are many more variations that you could use to help you get back into the pattern of writing creatively.

If you ever find yourself stuck and unsure of what your next step should be, consider taking some time off and working on some creative writing exercises instead. After some time, you might find yourself becoming more eager to get back into it and more inspired than ever. 

Tell us what you think! Do you enjoy creative writing exercises? Do you have any additional ideas for ways writers can continue to build and work on their writing skills? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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Eric Pangburn is a freelance writer who shares his best tips with other writers here at ThinkWritten. When not writing, he enjoys coaching basketball and spending time with his family.

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The article was inspirational but I wish that there was a place to show case our writing. I have written a novel and will love to have someone read and edit it.

Yeah, I agree.

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50 fun group writing exercises

Group writing exercises you can do with your writing circle or critique group are a fun ice-breaker and a way to get creative ideas flowing. Read 50 ‘fill in the blank’ creative writing prompts.

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50 fun group writing exercises | Now Novel

‘Fill in the blank’ writing exercises are fun to do in a group. Writing exercises with some set parameters highlight the diverse, interesting ways different writers interpret and respond to the same prompts. Try one of 50 ‘fill in the blank’ creative writing prompts below, and share your creativity in the comments or tag @NowNovel if sharing your version on social media.

The group writing exercises

The first prompt was a prompt for a contest to win a place on our Group Coaching writing course .

Contest prompt

Fill in the blanks Now Novel group coaching contest

Every year, I’d made a resolution not to ever __ again. Yet by January 20th I’d already __ and __.

Entries were voted on blind by a panel of four from the Now Novel team, and the winner was Ethan Myers with this entry:

Writing contest winner - Ethan Myers entry

Here are 49 more prompts to enjoy and stimulate creative ideas:

Writing exercises featuring scene-setting

On leaving As soon as I turned 18, I left__. It was a town of__and__ .

On arrival I walked through the arched entryway and my jaw dropped. Everywhere you looked there were__. Marco Polo himself could never have imagined__.

The first time It was my first ever flight. I was__. Then a__ sat down next to me, turning to me and asking, “__?”

Compare and contrast My hometown was__. When I got to__, a college town, the first thing I noticed was__.

Use the senses The minute you entered, you could smell __. Paired with the sound of __, it was unmistakably home.

Be specific The home we’d rented for the holidays was neither__ nor__, contrary to the listing. Yet my younger brother was delighted when we found__.

Build a bucket list I’d always wanted to go to__. I’d read so much about its__, though nothing had prepared me for__.

Create a world In the books I had read as a kid, portals were gateways to worlds where __. Yet here, I was surprised to find a__.

Outside/inside Outside, the sounds of__ filled the air__. Yet inside, the 19th Century __was like another world, full of strange __.

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Group writing exercises featuring conflict

Lovers’ quarrel We thought it would be a romantic getaway to Rome. Then__. By the end of the day, hot and fed up, we__.

A troubling lookout He climbed the watchtower, yet when he turned to the window, what he saw made him tremble.__.

The duel Many had said that if they were ever to duel, no two could be more equally matched. But what his opponent didn’t know was__.

Alien invasion In alien movies, they always blew up The White House or__. So he hadn’t expected to be toe to toe with an extraterrestrial having a screamed debate about__.

An assassin As the most skilled contract killer in the kingdom, she knew how to__. Yet nobody knew that she__.

Warring nations It started with a trade embargo. Then the president said that our neighbors’ president was a __ with a __. Next thing we knew, __.

Difficult decisions I couldn’t decide whether to__ or to__, but it was 4:45 pm and the last train was leaving in five minutes.

Writing exercises using dialogue

Secrets and lies “I never__,” he said. Yet I knew he was lying because__.

Surprises “Guess what I have behind my back?” she said. “__?” I guessed. “No!” She held out__.

Confessions “I didn’t know how to tell you this … I__.” “I’m glad you told me, now we can__.”

Embarrassing family “Your son is very talented, Mr Jones,” the__ said. “You say that now. You should have seen when he was 9. He__ and we were told that__.”

Thinking aloud “You should__.” “What did you just say?” “Did I just say that out loud? I was thinking about__.”

Know-it-all “Bet you didn’t know__,” he gloated. “Bet you didn’t know__,” I clapped back, full sass.

Bad bard “Shall I compare thee-“ I married a thespian. “Shall I compare you to __?” I rolled my eyes.

Writing exercises using simile and metaphor

Wild reactions His face was as __ as a__ after the bug bite and we were all a bit worried.

Comparing the moon The moon is a__ tonight, its thin crescent glowing like a__.

Making abstraction specific My anxiety is like a__ on the first day of school. A__ with a __.

Sound and simile The first minutes the orchestra was like a __, the music shimmering like __. But in the allegro the principal violinist’s string broke and the conductor__.

Describing emotions Fear is a__ with a__.

Describing the human voice He had a voice like__, like a__ echoing in a __.

Degrees of comparison The mysterious drink they prepared was sweeter than__. But sweeter still was__.

Fill in the blanks writing exercise - use the senses | Now Novel

Writing exercises using different POVs

Fugitive I had run all night, adrenaline keeping fatigue at bay. When I saw__ as dawn broke, I knew__.

Collective They had ways of dealing with dissent. If you dared to go against the clan, you would be__, God help you.

The reader as reader You decide to go to the library. You want to read a book about__. The librarian raises an eyebrow as they run the barcode scanner. “__?” They ask, as you blush.

The group as one That summer, we__ until we couldn’t__. We were all in our twenties, and the days were__.

Writing exercise using different moods of the verb

Future perfect tense, indicative mood In several years’ time, she will have changed, our__ changing like__.

Present tense, potential mood “They may change their minds,” the King says, scowling, “or else we may have to__ and__.”

Future tense, subjunctive mood If I should__, then tell everyone I never__.

[See a helpful explanation of verb moods and tenses in Ursula K. Le Guin’s Steering the Craft . ]

Writing exercises from creating blanks in books

Colum McCann – Let the Great World Spin We had a short driveway full of__. If we crossed the road, we could stand on__ and__.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez – Love in the Time of Cholera He had returned from a long stay in Paris, where he__, and from the time he set foot on solid ground he__.

Margaret Atwood, Oryx and Crake Jimmy’s earliest complete memory was of a huge__. He must have been five, maybe six. He was wearing__.

Virginia Woolf – Mrs Dalloway Her only gift was__. If you put her in a room with some one, up went her back like a cat’s; or she__.

Italo Calvino – The Complete Cosmicomics I thought only of the Earth. It was the Earth that caused each of us to__.

David Sedaris – Me Talk Pretty One Day When painting proved too difficult, I turned to__, telling myself__.

Eva Hoffman – Lost in Translation The library is located in a__ street, in an ancient building, which one enters through a__. It is Plato’s cave, Egyptian temple, the space of__.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Half of a Yellow Sun Richard said little at the parties Susan took him to. When she introduced him, she always added__. But they were pleasant to him; they would be to__.

Ursula K. Le Guin – The Left Hand of Darkness I’ll make my report as if I told a story, for I was taught__.

Colson Whitehead – The Zone The reunions were terrific and rote, early tutelage in the recursive nature of human experience. “__?” the girlfriends asked as they padded in bearing__, and he’d say “__”.

Barbara Kingsolver – The Poisonwood Bible Once every few years, even now, I catch the scent of__. It makes me want to keen, sing,__.

Jorge Luis Borges – Labyrinths He opened a drawer of the black and gold desk. He faced me and in his hands he held__.

Emily Brontë – Wuthering Heights While enjoying a month of fine weather at the sea-coast, I was thrown into the company of a__, a real__.

Find daily writing prompts plus literary device definitions and terms.

Build focus and a steady writing routine, and get help from experienced coaches and editors while connecting with other writers on our 6-month Group Coaching course. Learn more and see what alumni loved.

Related Posts:

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  • Writing exercises: 10 fun tense workouts
  • 6 creative writing exercises for rich character
  • Tags writing groups , writing inspiration , writing prompts

creative writing worksheets for writers

Jordan is a writer, editor, community manager and product developer. He received his BA Honours in English Literature and his undergraduate in English Literature and Music from the University of Cape Town.

6 replies on “50 fun group writing exercises”

These exercises look like fun!

Sometimes there comes a point when you can’t think of anything worth writing. I guess every writer will know what I mean. But with these templates, I can get some inspiration and share whole stories with my friends.

Thank you, Jordan.

Hi Daisy, I’m glad that you found these ideas inspiring, it’s a pleasure. Thank you for sharing your feedback!

I love these! They’re inspiring (although I want to cheat and use them as-is). Lots of material for future fun 😉

Hi Margriet, thank you! I’m glad you find these writing exercises fun. We can share fill-in-the-blank exercises in the challenge group, that’s another idea.

Thankyou Jordan for these great points.

It’s a pleasure, Dave. Thank you for reading our blog.

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Creative Writing Worksheet Templates

Customize creative writing templates.

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If you're assigning this to your students, copy the worksheet to your account and save. When creating an assignment, just select it as a template!

Creative Writing Worksheet Templates | Writing Worksheets

What is a Creative Writing Worksheet?

If you are someone who enjoys writing, you probably know that it takes more than just creativity to produce an engaging story or a captivating poem. These kills require a lot of practice and a structured approach. This is where creative writing worksheets come in handy. Whether you are a seasoned writer or just starting, these worksheets can help you express your thoughts and ideas more effectively. These worksheets help kids plan different story formats, with story maps to guide plot or fun shapes to fit a theme or idea.

Why are Creative Writing Templates Important and How are They Best Used?

Creative work is often where children get the most enjoyment out of writing in school and where they can exercise their imaginations. These templates help develop their plot sequence, create personalities for characters, and shape conflict. Moreover the templates give students the opportunity to write about themes and ideas in a format that is different from traditional lined paper, which can stimulate their creativity and make the process more fun and interesting.

Creative writing worksheets, such as story template writing and creative writing outline template, are essential tools for developing writing skills. They offer a structured approach to learning and practicing writing skills by breaking down the writing process into manageable steps and providing prompts and activities. By using these worksheets, students can learn how to organize their thoughts, create an outline, and develop a cohesive and engaging plot. This can help writers build confidence in their abilities and develop a better understanding of how to craft a well-written story or essay.

In addition to providing structure, these worksheets also encourage creativity and self-expression. By presenting your class with prompts that challenge them to think outside the box, these worksheets can help them express themselves in unique and innovative ways. Moreover, they can ignite a passion for writing and storytelling, which can translate to other aspects of their lives.

Besides promoting creativity, these worksheets also reinforce language skills, including vocabulary and grammar. By including prompts that focus on specific vocabulary or grammar concepts, students can learn and practice those concepts in a way that is engaging and memorable.

Types of Creative Writing Worksheets

  • Writing Paper: Writing paper is a basic worksheet that provides a blank space for you to write your story or poem. It is an essential tool for any writer, and you can find various types of paper, including lined paper, graph paper, and plain paper.
  • Story Planning Template: A story planning template is a worksheet that helps you plan your story. It includes sections for characters, setting, plot, and other important elements. This template is useful for those who want to organize their ideas before starting to write.
  • Story Writing Outline: A story writing outline is a worksheet that helps you create a structured outline for your work. It includes sections for the beginning, middle, and end, as well as character development and plot progression.
  • Creative Writing Template: This is a worksheet that provides a framework for your writing. It can include sections for different types of writing, such as descriptive writing or poetry, and can be used to structure your process.
  • Butterfly Writing Template: A butterfly writing template is a fun and engaging worksheet that helps you explore different perspectives and viewpoints. It includes sections for different viewpoints, such as the perspective of an insect or a flower, and can be used to write stories or poems.
  • Creative Writing Planning Sheet: A creative writing planning sheet is a worksheet that helps you plan. It includes sections for brainstorming, outlining, and organizing your ideas.
  • Creative Writing Storyboard: A creative writing storyboard is a worksheet that helps you visualize what you want to writer about. It includes sections for different scenes and can be used to plan your story's progression visually.
  • Creative Writing Prompts: These prompts are worksheets that provide inspiration. They can include prompts for different types of writing, such as poetry or fiction, and can help you generate new ideas.

Making Creative Writing Worksheets from Scratch

  • Determine Your Objective: Start by identifying what you want your students to achieve through the worksheet. Do you want them to practice a specific writing skill or develop their creativity? Knowing your objective will help you create prompts and activities that are focused and effective.
  • Choose a Format: Decide on the format that you want your worksheet to take. Different formats work better for different objectives, so choose one that aligns with your goal.
  • Create Prompts and Activities: Develop prompts and activities that are tailored to your objective and format. For example, if you want your class to practice descriptive writing, you could provide a prompt that asks them to describe a particular object or scene.
  • Incorporate Visual Aids: Consider using visual aids, such as images or illustrations, to help students generate ideas and engage with the material. This can make the worksheet more interesting and accessible.
  • Test and Revise: Once you have created your worksheet, test it out with a small group of students to see how effective it is. Take feedback on board and make revisions as needed to ensure that the worksheet meets your objectives and engages students in the writing process.

Tips For Creating Your Own Creative Writing Worksheets

If you want to create your own worksheets, here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Determine the Purpose of Your Worksheet: Decide what type of worksheet you want to create and what it should accomplish.
  • Choose a Template: Select a template that fits the purpose of your worksheet. There are many templates available online that you can use as a starting point.
  • Include Prompts or Examples: To help your class or yourself get started, include prompts or examples that will inspire creativity.
  • Make it Visually Appealing: Use images, colors, and fonts to make your worksheet visually appealing.

Making a worksheet from scratch can be fun, but using one of our premade templates will be so much easier! Check out how below.

How to Make Creative Writing Worksheets

Choose one of the premade templates.

We have lots of amazing templates to choose from. Take a look at our colorful example for inspiration!

Click on "Copy Template"

Once you do this, you will be directed to the storyboard creator.

Give Your Poster a Name!

Be sure to call it something related to the topic so that you can easily find it in the future.

Edit Your Poster

This is where you will include details, text, images, and make any aesthetic changes that you would like. The options are endless!

Click "Save and Exit"

When you are finished with your poster, click this button in the lower right hand corner to exit your storyboard.

From here you can print, download as a PDF, attach it to an assignment and use it digitally, and more!

Using Creative Writing Worksheets Effectively

Once you have created your worksheets, here are some strategies for using them effectively:

  • Incorporate them into your teaching: Use creative writing worksheets as part of your classroom curriculum to help your students improve their writing skills.
  • Use them as a warm-up: Use creative writing worksheets as a warm-up activity before beginning a writing project to get your creative juices flowing.
  • Share examples: Share examples of completed worksheets to help your class understand how to use them effectively.

Even More Storyboard That Resources and Free Printables

  • Poem Templates
  • Illustrated Story
  • Composition Worksheet
  • Setting Map
  • Journal Cover Worksheet

Happy Creating!

Frequently Asked Questions About Creative Writing Worksheets

In what ways do creative writing worksheets help improve writing skills.

These worksheets, including story planning templates and story outlines, are a versatile tool for improving composition skills. They provide a structured approach, while offering prompts and activities that focus on specific skills such as character development or descriptive writing. In addition to helping students develop creativity, vocabulary, and grammar skills, these worksheets can improve critical thinking skills by asking writers to analyze and interpret literary texts or create their own stories and characters. By providing a framework for them to organize their thoughts and ideas, these templates can be especially helpful for kids who struggle with getting started on a written assignment. Overall, they are a valuable resource for helping students become better writers and more confident communicators.

How can creative writing worksheets be used to teach different writing genres?

These worksheets can be adapted to teach different genres, such as poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. For example, a worksheet could focus on developing descriptive language for poetry writing, or on creating character profiles for fiction writing. By tailoring the prompts and activities to specific genres, children can learn the skills needed to write in those genres.

How can creative writing worksheets be used to encourage creativity?

Examples and worksheets can be used to encourage creativity by providing prompts and activities that inspire writers to think outside the box. For example, a worksheet could ask students to write a story from the perspective of an inanimate object, or to create a new world with its own rules and customs. By encouraging writers to explore their imagination and creativity, our worksheets can help foster a love of the written word and storytelling.

How can teachers help students who want to know how to start creative writing using worksheets?

Teachers can help by providing clear instructions and guidance on how to use the worksheets effectively. This can include demonstrating how to use story planning templates and outlines to organize their thoughts and ideas, as well as providing prompts and activities that inspire creativity and encourage writers to think outside the box. Additionally, teachers can offer feedback and support throughout the process to help students develop their creative ideas, writing skills and build confidence. By providing a supportive and structured learning environment, teachers can help students of all levels improve their abilities and achieve their goals.

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Home / Book Writing / 17 Character Development Exercises for Writers

17 Character Development Exercises for Writers

Character development exercises are short forms of deliberate practice to improve your writing skills and round out your characters.

They are typically not used in the final novel, but are little extras that help you understand the personalities that you are writing.

Because for some of us, nailing down that perfect character can be hard. And to help with that, we’ve assembled 17 different exercises to improve your characters.

  • Why character exercises are important
  • A list of 17 different exercises that you can implement today
  • Examples and advice to improve your characters

Table of contents

  • Why Are Character Development Exercises Important?
  • Exercise #1: Write a FULL Description
  • Exercise #2: Play Dress Up
  • Exercise #3: Write a Description Scene Through the Character’s Eyes
  • Exercise #4: Practice Showing Emotion
  • Exercise #5: Write a “Slice of Life” Episode
  • Exercise #6: Write Other People Gossiping About Your Character
  • Exercise #7: Write a Progression Short Story
  • Exercise #8: Draw the Character
  • Exercise #9: Create a Character Profile
  • Exercise #10: Conduct a Character Interview
  • Exercise #11: Play the “Why” Game
  • Exercise #12: Create a Character Based on Someone You Know
  • Exercise #13: Imagine What Happens Before and After the Novel
  • Exercise #14: Put Them in Horrible Situations (Muahahahahah)
  • Exercise #15: Create a Timeline
  • Exercise #16: Do a Little Fan-fiction
  • Exercise #17: Use Character Writing Prompts

So why use a character development exercise in the first place?

This may be a valid question, especially for authors like myself, who just want to dive into the writing and let the characters unfold as I write.

But honestly, a little work up front can save you a load of headache afterward.

Running through a handful of these exercises will help you to:

  • Understand your character’s emotions
  • Give you practice writing in their voice and from their point of view
  • Find out what sets them apart from other characters
  • Flesh them out to create round and dynamic characters
  • Establish the relationship between your characters and the setting, or other characters
  • Deliberate practice of the process to create complex and well-written characters

In short, it’s a great way to deliberately practice writing and reduces the need to go back and do extensive revisions on your characters.

That said, this might not be the best thing to do if you’re a pantser and just want to dive in and discover your characters along the way. But it can be a great tool in your author tool belt.

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Write and format professional books with ease.  Never before has creating formatted books been easier.

So without further ado, here are 17 of our best picks for character development exercises. 

Exercise #1 : Write a FULL Description

When it comes to writing characters, most of us focus on the facial features, things like hair color, eye color, etc.

A great way to begin getting to know your character is to do a full description of them. In a book, we might not do this to the extent you might in a creative writing exercise, which is why it’s good to practice here.

Here are some things to consider: 

  • Skin/hair/eye color
  • Do they have any warts or moles?
  • What is their hair style?
  • What is their build?
  • Do they have any scars, tattoos, etc.
  • What is their general complexion. Is their skin smooth and silky, rough and calloused, or even bruised and battered?
  • What default facial expression do they have?
  • What does he/she smell like?

Exercise #2 : Play Dress Up

What we choose to wear says a lot about a person. Someone wearing an extravagant French-style outfit from the 18th century will give you a completely different impression than a cut business suit from the 21st century.

The problem is that most authors, when they’re writing about their characters, often forget to add a lot of detail about the clothes they are wearing. It’s easy to see these things in your mind and forget that your readers don’t see what you see. They see what you write.

One way to help overcome this oversight is to continue the exercise above, but focus on clothing.

And don’t just focus on any one type, because your protagonist will most likely use several types of clothing throughout the course of your novel. Here are just some examples:

  • Travel clothing
  • Clothes for a night on the town
  • Clothes for wilderness survival
  • Combat wear

Exercise #3 : Write a Description Scene Through the Character’s Eyes

Ideally, every character should experience the same thing differently, depending on their background, their wants and desires, and their tastes.

Additionally, great prose is often written from the perspective of the character making the observation.

For example, let’s say you have two people, one who has grown up in a desert their whole life, where water is scarce, and the other who grew up in a place where water was plentiful. 

Imagine these two people on a hot day, observing a third person splashing water on their face. If you’re writing from the first character’s perspective, you could describe this as “and the man took a handful of water and wasted it on his face.” The second person might describe it this way, “I watched as the man poured the cool liquid and splashed it all over his face. I wish I were him right now.”

Do you see the difference there? In one, the character sees using water in one way as a waste, and for the other, it’s something to be sought after. 

Exercise #4 : Practice Showing Emotion

We’ve all heard the adage to “show, don’t tell,” but what does this really look like for most characters?

This is something that really only comes with practice. Once you’ve done it enough times, you’ll recognize instances where you’re saying things like “he felt hungry,” and can replace them with something like “He winced and put a hand to his stomach as it growled, and he swallowed hard.”

Character emotion is one of these areas where showing rather than telling can really enhance your novel.

Exercise #5 : Write a “Slice of Life” Episode

There are a lot of scenes in a book, and most of them have a purpose. That said, there are many scenes that probably occur in that character’s life, but that we don’t talk about because they’re not important for the story.

However, you as the author should have an idea of what happens in these less important moments.

Some examples of a “slice of life” episode might include:

  • Having dinner with family
  • Going to the bathroom
  • The morning routine
  • A conversation with a co-worker
  • Late-night conversations with a spouse
  • Cooking a meal
  • Going on vacation
  • Playing with their kids
  • Coming home a little too drunk
  • Visiting a museum

Exercise #6 : Write Other People Gossiping About Your Character

Very often, we learn more from others about ourselves that we might not have known on our own. Others can provide unique perspectives, and in some cases expose huge biases (on both sides).

For example, a proud character might not realize that he/she is proud, but it’s easy for an outside observer to spot this.

Exercise #7 : Write a Progression Short Story

In real life, people change a lot, and characters should change in stories too (most of the time). 

A great way to show this is to write a short story that examines the character at different parts of her/his life. You can focus on key moments in their life, but you could also just follow exercise #5 and focus on a few more everyday events.

The purpose of this exercise is to show how that person may have changed. Do they view the world differently as a working adult, vs as a teenager? A child? An elderly person?

What about before or after experiencing some kind of trauma?

Exercise #8 : Draw the Character

I’ll be honest, I’m not an artist. But I am a visual person, and getting some solid visuals of the character can be a huge boost in helping me understand them.

If you’re like me and really have no design skills , then finding a few photos is fine.

I’d recommend several photos though, since one might not be enough. You could have some for their face and general appearance, one for their clothes and how they look, etc.

If you know a program like Photoshop, you could even crop these together to get an even better sense of what you character looks like.

This is a great exercise for understanding the feel of a character, which is often harder to put into words.

Exercise #9 : Create a Character Profile

Imagine you work for the FBI, and you have to draft up a dossier about your character. What might that look like?

Fortunately, we’ve done a whole article about this topic, so you should definitely check that out, and also don’t forget to pick up our character profile template, which can easily help you through this process.

If you want a thorough process to identify the character’s appearance, personality, background, and more, this is the way to go. 

The best aspects to focus on are the flaws, motivations, and fears of your character. What prompts them to action? Understanding these things will help you get at the core of your character’s personality traits.

Exercise #10 : Conduct a Character Interview

Imagine you sat in a darkened room, across the table from you is your character. You can ask them anything, they won’t be offended, and they will understand the question.

What do you ask them about?

Writing a character interview is almost like writing yourself into a short story where you get to personally meet your character and ask them questions.

This is huge for helping you understand the character’s voice, but also a good strategy for building solid character backstory and character traits.

To help, we’ve already assembled over 200 character development questions that can aid you in this process.

Exercise #11 : Play the “Why” Game

This goes along with the idea of an interview, but sometimes in order to dig really deep into the motivations of your character, you’ve got to ask why.

Is your character aggressive? Ask them why. 

From there you might find out that his mother shouted at him as a kid, and he saw his parents fight a lot. Ask why.

You might learn that his father had a drinking problem and it meant that his mother took it out on him. Ask why.

From there, it might come out that his father had lost a lot of money in a business deal, leading him to turn to drink.

I hope you get the idea. The more you ask why, the more you’ll dig deeper into your character’s past, and the better you will understand them.

Exercise #12 : Create a Character Based on Someone You Know

This can be a little dangerous, because to be honest, most of the people we know are not that interesting. And we also want to avoid lawsuits for defamation if the comparison is too obvious.

That said, the people we know can be a huge inspiration to pick and choose ideas to incorporate into your characters.

For example, my own father and uncle have a really fun way of talking to each other. They’re always ribbing on each other and calling eachother weird, made-up names. You can tell that they love each other, but it’s an uncommon way of showing it.

This might make a good relationship between two people in a book.

Exercise #13 : Imagine What Happens Before and After the Novel

The writer is mostly concerned with what happens during the plot of her novel. But if written well, a character will feel like they exist long before and long after the pages of the book.

So it’s a good idea to try dreaming up what happens to these characters in that time. 

It can be dramatic, or it can be mundane. Impactful, or ordinary. It doesn’t matter much. All that matters is that you have a past and future in mind for that character (unless you plan to kill them off of course).

And who knows, you might even come up with some good ideas for other books involving those characters.

Exercise #14 : Put Them in Horrible Situations (Muahahahahah)

I’ve heard it said that you should basically put your characters through hell in a story, and never let up.

While this is good advice, it’s not always practical. That said, putting your characters through the meat-grinder is a great way to learn how they react to conflict.

These scenarios don’t have to be trials you will actually use in your novel. These are just different ways to put your character in pain and see how they react (I know I sound like a very unethical scientist, don't @ me).

Here are some possibilities:

  • The loss of a loved one
  • A diagnosis of cancer
  • The loss of a limb
  • Getting tortured
  • Breaking up with the love of their life
  • Losing everything they own
  • Being betrayed by a friend

Exercise #15 : Create a Timeline

Sometimes it’s hard to keep every part of a character’s life straight. That’s where a timeline can be helpful.

A timeline is a simple list of events in the character’s life, though they can get more complex and interesting, and you can even put some design skills to work if you want.

But timelines only have to be a simple list of events. They can include events from before their birth to their death, or they can be focused on a specific period of their life.

It will depend on the character and the story you will want to tell.

Exercise #16 : Do a Little Fan-fiction

When we’re writing a story, we might not have a full grasp on it yet, and that’s where writing fan fiction can help.

Imagine your character interacting with characters from a story you already know? Imagine the ultimate crossover between your story and your favorite franchise.

For example, what Hogwarts house would your character belong in? What might it look like when he/she is sorted and interacts with other characters in that house or other characters from the Harry Potter books.

It’s a great way to lean on characters you already know, to help unveil more about the characters you’re trying to discover.

Exercise #17 : Use Character Writing Prompts

There are a bunch of character-related creative writing prompts out there, and many of them can be quite helpful in getting your brain to think outside of the box.

In theory, we could have a list much longer than 17 if we wanted to include more of these prompts, but that would end up being too much.

Instead, I recommend this post , or checking out our list of character questions to give you ideas.

Final Thoughts on Character Development Exercises

If you’ve made it far, first of all, well done.

Second of all, you might be a little overwhelmed, but don’t worry. This list is not meant to be a checklist for everything you should do to expand on your characters.

Instead, this is a handful of ideas that you can take (or leave) and use them to better understand your characters.

As you apply these exercises, I can pretty much guarantee that you will grow as a writer, become more familiar with your characters, and increase your chances of having a great dynamic character in your books.

Let us know how it goes!

Jason Hamilton

When I’m not sipping tea with princesses or lightsaber dueling with little Jedi, I’m a book marketing nut. Having consulted multiple publishing companies and NYT best-selling authors, I created Kindlepreneur to help authors sell more books. I’ve even been called “The Kindlepreneur” by Amazon publicly, and I’m here to help you with your author journey.

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35 Writing Exercises For Adults To Drastically Improve Your Writing

How do beginners practice writing ?

Here you are as an adult who’s decided to make writing an essential part of your life. 

However little practice you’ve had until now, it’s not too late to become a writer.

It’s as simple (and challenging) as showing up every day to write something .

Getting started on your daily writing can be tricky, though–especially if it’s not a habit yet. 

That’s why we’ve rounded up this collection of 35 fun writing exercises for adults. 

What Exercises Can I Do to Improve My Writing Skills? 

We’re not talking about writing prompts (which are also helpful). Writing exercises usually focus on a specific type of writing to help you develop your skills.

The list in this post offers a variety of fiction writing exercises, each dealing with one or more of the following: 

  • Sensory Description
  • Character Development
  • Emotions 
  • Poetry 

Since there’s plenty of room for overlap with these types, the list below doesn’t separate them. You can choose, though, to focus on one specific type for each exercise.

If you’re still wondering, “How do I start writing as an adult?” the answer is to do just that: start writing. We all have to start somewhere. The older you are when you begin, the more experiences you can draw from for your writing material. 

35 Writing Exercises for Adults 

What better way to get started and build a daily writing habit than with some easy writing exercises?

Look through the list below and start with the one that gets your mind immediately working on ideas. Don’t worry if those ideas quiet down the moment you begin.

Take a deep breath (or two) and write whatever comes to mind. 

1. Write up to ten emotions on as many strips of paper and put them in a container. Choose an object, and then pick out one of the pieces of paper. Write about the object from the perspective of a character feeling that emotion. Or write a journal entry for a character, expressing that emotion and explaining why they feel it. 

2. Start with a blank page and whatever is on your mind, and just write. This is a stream of consciousness exercise where you just let the thoughts pour onto the page without worrying about grammar , spelling, or technique. The point is to just get the words flowing without interruption. Choose the topic , and run with it.

3. Take one of your works in progress or a story you’ve enjoyed reading, and write from the perspective of one of its characters. It can be the protagonist, the chief antagonist, or anyone else. Get into the character’s head and write freely about the story or another character from their point of view. 

4. Choose a creative writing prompt for the day and write for a solid five minutes using whatever comes to mind. Don’t worry about how it sounds or whether you think it’s bestseller material. The point here isn’t to write something masterful; it’s to help you get used to writing without a filter. Editing is not part of this. 

5. Imagine you’ve gone back in time, and you have the opportunity to say something to your younger self. Write about how that encounter would go and what, if anything, you would say to warn them about a pivotal decision you remember making. Would you encourage them to choose differently? Or would you just be there for yourself?

6. Write a fake advertisement for a roommate, a job, a product of your own making, or whatever you want. Have fun with it. You can even advertise yourself, offering your services as a memoir writer , a food tester, an interior designer, or whatever. It doesn’t have to be something you’re good at. 

writing exercises for adults

7. Write a short blog post from the perspective of one of your story characters — or any character you choose from a TV series, a movie, or a story you’ve enjoyed reading. Write about something they’ve learned, something they want to do, or someone who’s on their mind a lot lately. 

8. Describe your ideal home office using as much sensory detail as possible. Include the color scheme, the decorating style and type of furniture, the smells from candles or fresh flowers, the taste of your favorite working beverage and/or snacks, and the tactile sensations you experience while working in that room. 

9. Pick a number between one and ten. Choose a book from your shelf and go to that number page and to that number line on the page. Use it as a prompt for a poem and take it in whatever direction you choose. Don’t worry about technique. Write the words that come as a sort of free association exercise.

10. Your character comes to you with a problem. Your job, for this exercise, is to keep asking the question, “Why?” and writing down whatever they give as their answer. If they get exasperated (and rude), you can go with that, too. Make the words fit your character. And don’t be afraid to go deep. 

11. Pretend you’re a talk show host, and your special guest is the protagonist or antagonist of a favorite story or your own work in progress. Record your conversation as a dialogue, and don’t be afraid to ask personal or challenging questions. Let your guest answer in a way that fits their character. 

12. You’ve gone to a party with a favorite story character, and they’ve had a bit too much to drink. What might they say or do when they’re less inhibited? Record a conversation you have with their drunken self or describe a scene they create while under the influence. And what are the consequences? 

13. Describe an unexpectedly romantic scene between two characters. Start with something mundane and have one of the characters say something unexpected — either from a sudden rush of emotion or because they’re distracted and not thinking about the words coming out. Write about what happens between them.

14. Write a detailed description of the room you’re in right now. What details stand out for you, and why do they matter? What would you change if you could? What can you do today or this week to make this room better for writing in? Or what do you love about this room that no other room has?

15. Your character steps through a portal into a place of your choosing. Describe it using words to set a particular mood . How does your character feel as they walk deeper into the scene? Are they afraid, curious, hungry, sad, or something else? And how does that emotion affect their perception of their surroundings? 

writing exercises for adults

16. Write a dialogue between two characters who keep misinterpreting each other’s words and nonverbal cues, thanks to their own distorted self-perception. Is one of them convinced the other finds them unattractive or annoying? Is the other trying to work up the nerve to ask them out? Add descriptions of body language. 

More Related Articles

75 Of The Best Fiction Writing Prompts For All Writers

47 Character Development Prompts To Flesh Out Your Book Characters

99 Fun Flash Fiction Writing Prompts

17. Use your phone or computer to record yourself talking about whatever is on your mind, e ither from your perspective or that of a favorite character. When you’ve done this for at least five minutes (set a timer), use the text-to-speech function to transcribe what you’ve recorded. 

18. Recall your text-to-speech exercise and pretend you’re taking down your thoughts (or your character’s thoughts) from mental dictation. Use a prompt, if it helps, and record their stream-of-consciousness thinking process without editing or filtering any of the content. Write exactly as you (or they) talk. 

19. Imagine you’ve just inherited or won a huge, life-changing sum of money, and you’re discussing it with someone close to you. What ideas do both of you have for its use? Do you disagree on how best to manage the money? Or are you both finally able to do something you’ve wanted to do — together or separately? 

20. Find the day’s Twitter #vss word prompt (140 characters or fewer) and write something using that word — a brief dialogue, a pivotal moment, a shocking advertisement, etc. Write as many as you like, and, if you have a Twitter account, share one with your followers, making sure to include #vss and other relevant tags.

21. Choose a character and write about something they’re ashamed of. How did they learn to be ashamed of it? Who in that character’s past contributed to that? And what could another character do to help them confront that shame and heal from it? What, if anything, does this character need to hear, admit, or do to overcome it?

22. If you or one of your characters becomes physically ill at the prospect of doing something or going somewhere , what’s causing this immediate onset of physical symptoms, and how exactly do they manifest? What could you or your character do to change the way you respond to this perceived threat?

23. Write a letter to yourself to read a year from now. Write as if you’ve accomplished all the things you want to do over the next 12 months. Describe how your life has changed and what you love about it. What changes have you made and undergone that you’re proud of? Where did you begin with the changes?

24. Write about a dialogue between you and an important person in your life. Add any sensory details and body language you remember. What emotions did you feel, and how did this conversation affect you? What did you realize that you expressed to the other person—or that you couldn’t put into words? 

25. Put yourself in a character’s shoes and write about the moment they realized they were in love with someone. What were they thinking and feeling in that moment? What did they do with those feelings? And how did it affect their next interaction with that person? Were they free to express what they were feeling? 

26. Find a small box and tape it securely shut. Let your imagination run loose and write about what’s in the box and why you can’t risk opening it (at least not until the time is right). Or write about what will happen when the box is opened and its contents revealed. What or whom are you protecting? 

27. Describe your perfect bedroom down to the smallest sensory detail. What do you love most about it—the colors, the bedding, the furniture, the closet, etc.? What descriptive words come to mind when you think of that space? Whom do you allow to enter that room (as long as you’re there and they knock first)? 

28. Create a timeline of important moments in a character’s life. What experiences shaped them as a person? What pivotal moments have contributed to the life they live now? What choices have they made that led them to where they are? How might you explain their biggest fears or characteristic tendencies? 

29. If you’re writing a story, describe a pivotal moment from the perspective of an outsider who witnessed that moment but is not part of the story . What do they notice that your characters do not? How do they interpret the situation since, as an outsider, they’re not privy to important background information? 

30. Take a character of your own making (or someone else’s) and put them through something that pushes their limits and deeply affects them, leaving them uncertain as to how to make sense of it. Show how it changes their perspective and their behavior from that point forward. 

31. Brainstorm a list of at least five ideas for something related to a story you’re writing: five surprising or defining facts about your main character, five things your antagonist would do to mess with your protagonist , five important details about your story’s setting, five ways your main character could get what they want, etc. 

32. Choose a book written by an author you admire and write about an important moment in your life using the voice from a particular character in that book (protagonist, villain, etc.). How would they express what they’re feeling or how they’re inclined to react? What would they do that you would not—or vice-versa?

33. Describe in detail the kind of relationship you want for yourself. Make a list of must-haves and of nice-to-have qualities in a partner. You can also pretend you’re writing a profile description for an online dating site. Or write a letter to your current or future partner about what you really want to have with them. 

34. Pick one of your characters and describe the best day of their life in detail. What made it their best day ever? When did it happen, and how? Have they tried to recreate that day more recently? And if so, how did it go? What (if anything) went wrong? Or what happened as an unintended consequence? 

35. Write down three random nouns, four adjectives, two verbs, and one adverb for a Mad Libs exercise. Now, write at least 500 words of a story that uses all ten of those words. It doesn’t have to make sense. In fact, the goofier, the better. This can be a self-contained story or the first chapter of a longer one. 

Now that you’ve looked through all 35 creative writing exercises, which ones stood out for you? And which one will you try today? The goal here is to get you so comfortable with writing it becomes second nature. 

You don’t need perfect; you just need to start somewhere. 

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Katie Mccoach

Plot Worksheets For Writers

Author Resources , Author Tips , NaNoWriMo , Writing | 1 comment

author resources plot worksheets

For those writers that are in need of a little plotting help to get the story back on track if you feel like you’ve lost it, to have an idea of where it’s heading, or to lay out the entire story, here are links to plot worksheets that may help you.

Let us know which ones you like or don’t, and please share in the comments below if you know of any more!

Happy plotting!

1.  Jami Gold’s Story Planning Worksheets

http://jamigold.com/for-writers/worksheets-for-writers/

Jami has created numerous worksheets for writers. These worksheets have been recommended by many!

She has worksheets based on the teachings from other writers, plus some she has created on her own. Here are a few I recommend from her page:

  • Blake Synder’s Save the Cat Beat Sheet (created by Elizabeth Davis)
  • Larry Brooks’ Story Engineering Beat Sheet
  • Jami Gold’s Basic Beat Sheet
  • Jami Gold’s Romance Beat Sheet

*You must go to the link above and then you can download the sheets from there.

2. Annie Neugebauer, author, created two Word doc worksheets that are really great. These are a bit more basic than Jami’s sheets above, but give an outline of where you are going. One is basic, the second includes prompts to get you thinking and asking questions of your story and characters. I recommend the prompt one a lot.

http://annieneugebauer.com/the-organized-writer-2/novel-plotting-worksheets/

3. Fill in the Blanks: A Plot Template to Keep you on Target by Janice Hardy: http://blog.janicehardy.com/2012/06/fill-in-blanks-plot-template-to-keep.html

4. This site has six great templates to download: http://selfpublishingteam.com/6-writing-outline-templates-and-3-reasons-to-use-them/

5. Story Writing Help – Plot Worksheets

http://www.creative-writing-now.com/story-writing-help.html

 Other helpful posts on plotting and outlining:

http://www.ereadingworksheets.com/free-reading-worksheets/story-structure/story-structure-worksheets/

http://authorunlimited.com/organise-book-with-scrivener-writing-software/

Do you have a worksheet or outline to add to this list? What do you use?

KATIE McCOACH is a freelance developmental book editor at KM Editorial working with authors of all levels to help them create their best story possible. Katie is a member of Romance Writers of America and the Editorial Freelancers Association. She has had essays published in TrainWrite and Kalliope and is currently writing a contemporary romance novel. For advice on editing, writing, and publishing visit her blog at https://katiemccoach.com/blog and be sure to also follow her on Twitter @KatieMcCoach .

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creative writing worksheets for writers

Hi! I’m Katie.

Sunshine-lover, author-cheerleader, and developmental editor here to help you write #YOURBESTSTORY and to help you reach new heights in your writing career.

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Creative Writing Activities and Games

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  • You'll find a complete creative writing syllabus with lesson plans you can use on the main Teaching Resources page .

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Writing Activities for Reluctant Writers

  • by Colleen Beck
  • November 29, 2023

Amazon affiliate links may be included in this blog post. As an Amazon Influencer, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Here, we’re talking all about reluctant writers. We’ll cover WHY kids hate to write, and we’ll discuss strategies to engage kids that are reluctant to write. You’ll also find TOYS and TOOLS to engage and motivate children that hate writing.

We’ve already covered  fine motor toy  ideas and pencil grasp toys , which can be a resource for reluctant writers. Today is all about play–based strategies to support reluctant writers.    Our related blog post on name practice in kindergarten offers more strategies to support the child who is reluctant to write, particularly for beginners struggling with underlying skills needed for handwriting.

Amazon affiliate links are included in this blog post. As an Amazon Influencer, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Reluctant Writers

It’s very common for kids of all ages to be a reluctant to write. Challenges such as not knowing letter formation, struggles with dysgraphia, or difficulties with visual perceptual skills or visual motor skills that impact legibility can mean that kids just hate to write.

They hate to practice handwriting.

Motivating struggling writers to actually practice the underlying areas in which they struggle can be a challenge. For kids that HATE to write, meaningful and motivating is key! These writing activities for reluctant writes will make handwriting fun so that kids can work on the skills they need to work on.

Practice writing?  “But Mom! I don’t like to write!”  Sound familiar?  Many kids (Many, many!) just aren’t into practicing their handwriting at home.  School and homeschooling can be exhausting for kids when they have to do certain topics that they just aren’t interested in.  And handwriting is often one of those topics.  

Hopefully, you’ll find some motivating handwriting activities in today’s post that will help your reluctant writer pick up that pencil and start writing!

Functional and meaningful handwriting activities for reluctant writers.  These are motivating activities for kids who don't like to practice handwriting.

How to engage reluctant writers

{{This post contains affiliate links.}}

You can throw in the fun colored ink pen for extra smiles from your reluctant writer, but we wanted to share ideas to work on functional skills like handwriting using mainly items you can find around the home.  Try a few of these fun ideas with your student or child:

  • Write Jokes. Look up jokes in a joke book and write them on index cards.  Send them to a friend in the mail, drop one in a neighbors mailbox (if you know the neighbor and first let them know to expect something in the mail!) or give one to teachers.  Find a buddy who would be interested in exchanging jokes.
  • Write letters to favorite celebrities.  Use those interests and look up addresses to your child’s favorite artist, musician, or sports hero.  Kids can compose a letter and address the envelope.
  • Exchange letters with a pen pal.  Kids can exchange letters with friends and relatives in other states or towns.  Getting mail addressed to themselves is very rewarding for a child.
  • Pass notes.  Write short notes to members of the family.  Leave them in places where they will be found, like on bedroom dressers or in shoes.  Notes might be simple things like, “Don’t forget about soccer practice today.” or fun things like, “Do you want to play checkers?”
  • Plan a scavenger hunt.  Write out hints on slips of paper.  The child can plan the steps and hide notes for family members or friends.
  • Practice letter formation during fun games like Tic Tac Toe.  Instead of x’s and o’s, write printed or cursive letters in the squares.
  • Write your own comic books.  Draw large rectangles on a page for a comic story. Students can draw pictures and write comic bubbles for handwriting practice.
  • Make a  creative journal  full of creative handwriting ideas.  We did ours with a cursive handwriting, but you could use these ideas for printed handwriting, too.
  • Tape paper to a window and write on the paper.
  • Location, location, location! Change spaces for something fun and different: go to the library and try the tables there.  Write outside with a clipboard.  Where can you go to write that is new and fun?
  • Change positions.  Sit on the floor and write on the chair seat.  Lay on couch cushions and write on the floor on a clipboard. 
  • Take brain breaks .  Every 3-4 minutes, take a mini-break for jumping jacks or wall push-ups.
  • Write to classical music.

Engaging activities for reluctant writers

Toys for Reluctant Writers 

Looking for more ways to help your reluctant writer get more “into” writing?  These toys, tools, and games will inspire and encourage your child to want to pick up the writing tool and play.  

The best thing is, they won’t even realize they are practicing handwriting and doing “work”!  While these tools and toys are not free, they are ideas to try.  If you have family asking for gift ideas, you might want to pass a few of these ideas along.  Here’s to writing and loving it!

Amazon affiliate links included below.

  • Kids love a dry erase board and this Crayola Dry Erase Activity Center (affiliate link) will be fun for them to practice letter formation and writing. 
  •  The Crayola Dry-Erase Activity Center Zany Play (affiliate link) can be a fun way to practice individual letter formation. Ask your child to practice letters in each box. Kids can also work on starting/stopping the writing tool on the dots, which is great pencil control practice and needed for handwriting legibility. 
  •  Writing on this Crayola See Thru Light Designer (affiliate link) is bright and colorful and a great way to really work on letters while your child is captivated by the light animations and color effects. 
  •  For students who love to draw (or have a slight interest in drawing), this Crayola Light Designer (affiliate link) will be a huge hit. Even though they will not be writing letters and words, kids can draw with the writing tool to create 3D images of their drawings.  This is a motivating tool for reluctant writers, and beneficial for pencil control and dexterity, helpful in handwriting. 
  •  For kids who say “I can’t think of anything to write!” (sound familiar?) This creative storytelling game, Rory’s Story Cubes (affiliate link), will be a fun way to inspire. Play the game and write out stories as a family. This sounds like a great Family Night activity! 
  •  Make writing fun with Washable Window Chalk Markers (affiliate link) by writing on windows, glass, and mirrors.
  • Completing mazes are a great way to practice pencil control, line awareness in handwriting. 
  •  Try a maze book like this Extreme Mazes (affiliate link) with your reluctant writer. 
  • Mad Libs Game (affiliate link) is a great way to practice handwriting on lines and in smaller spaces. For kids who can not write as small as needed to write in the book, use a piece of paper for filling in the answers. 
  •  The handwriting practice that kids get with a Spirograph (affiliate link) is big: Pen control, bilateral hand coordination, and proprioceptive feedback. Creating these fun art pieces are motivating and fun!

Toys for Letter Formation

Helping kids to work on letter formation can help them to become more confident in their handwriting. Try these engaging toys to support written work:

Chuchik Magnetic Drawing Board -(affiliate link) Use the magnetic pen to “write” letters and then erase them, adding repetitions in letter formation.

Coogam Wooden Letters Practicing Board – (affiliate link) Use the wooden board to trace and form letters. Then place a paper over the board and use a crayon to form the letters using the textured letters.

Naturskool Sand Writing Tray for Letter Formation with Alphabet flashcards – (affiliate link) Work on letter formation and copying skills with a sensory tray and pencil-like writing stylus.

More Fun toys to practice pencil formation and handwriting . Below are Amazon affiliate links.

  • Erasable Drawing Doodle Screen Board
  • Crayola Colored Gel Pens
  • My First Crayola Double Doodle Board
  • Crayola Glitter Crayons
  • Color Changing Magic Pens

creative writing worksheets for writers

More Developmental Toys for Therapy

Be sure to check out these developmental toys, too. These are top-rated occupational therapy toys to support child development of skills.

  • Fine Motor Toys  
  • Gross Motor Toys  
  • Pencil Grasp Toys  
  • Toys for Reluctant Writers  
  • Toys for Spatial Awareness  
  • Toys for Visual Tracking  
  • Toys for Sensory Play
  • Bilateral Coordination Toys  
  • Games for Executive Functioning Skills 
  • Toys and Tools to Improve Visual Perception  
  • Toys to Help with Scissors Skills  
  • Toys for Attention and Focus

PRINTABLE LIST OF TOYS FOR Reluctant Writers

Want a printable copy of our therapist-recommended toys to support reluctant writers?

As therapy professionals, we LOVE to recommend therapy toys that build skills! This toy list is done for you so you don’t need to recreate the wheel.

Your therapy caseload will love these handwriting toy recommendations.  (There’s space on this handout for you to write in your own toy suggestions, to meet the client’s individual needs, too!)

Therapist-Recommended ​ RELUCTANT WRITER TOYS HANDOUT

creative writing worksheets for writers

Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to [email protected].

Toys for reluctant writers

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USM Center for Writers to Sponsor Creative Writing Day

Thu, 03/07/2024 - 08:41am | By: Van Arnold

Once upon a time … at a university nestled in the piney woods of South Mississippi, a group of enthusiastic literary buffs congregated to showcase their talents and share experiences in a unique forum called Creative Writing Day.

Such will be the case on Friday, March 22 when The University of Southern Mississippi’s (USM) Center for Writers (C4W) hosts Creative Writing Day from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. in Room 201 of the Liberal Arts Building on the Hattiesburg campus. The event is free and open to all members of the USM community, as well as the general public.

Free workshops, led by USM faculty and graduate students, will be held in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction/hybrid. There is no registration required.

Emilee Kinney, an Instructor of Composition at USM and doctoral student in Creative Writing, is helping coordinate the event. She explains that Creative Writing Day is the latest iteration of writing workshop events the Center for Writers has hosted for many years.

“Before the COVID-19 pandemic, these workshops were held in the Hattiesburg community. Starting in 2022, the Center for Writers decided to combine the events into a single day, hosted once every semester,” said Kinney.

Kinney describes the opportunity to spend practically an entire day devoted to creative writing, “very exciting.”

“This event allows a chance for English graduate instructors to teach genres they are passionate about,” she said. “Having faculty join us allows even more opportunity for high school and prospective students to experience the college creative writing experience at USM.”

Kinney also nixes any notion that interest and application in creative writing has waned in recent years.

“No, it has far from declined,” she said. “We may be biased since we are creative writers, but the output of new creative voices, the issues being addressed through multiple creative forms, and the variety of platforms now available to elevate and help those voices be heard suggests creative writing is more robust than ever.”

By inviting the general public, Creative Writing Day enables anyone with a penchant for the craft to share in an interactive program designed to foster creativity.

“We know there are creative writers everywhere, not just in universities, so this event is a chance for everyone to come, share, and collaborate in a creative community space,” said Kinney. “Creative writing is really important, therefore making this event accessible and inclusive is really important to us. Our goal is to promote creative writing and provide a space for participants to generate new work. Come be inspired with us!”

For questions about Creative Writing Day, contact Kinney.

Categories: Arts and Sciences

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Author kristen radtke to address issues surrounding loneliness at usm university forum march 19, southern miss school of leadership professor presents research at rutgers business conference, usm school of accountancy prepares students for broad career paths.

IMAGES

  1. 34+ Creative Writing Worksheets Pdf

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  2. Printable Creative Writing Worksheets Pdf

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  3. creative writing worksheets for grade 4 pdf writing

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  5. 17 Creative Writing Worksheets For Adults / worksheeto.com

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  6. 4Th Grade Creative Writing Worksheets

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COMMENTS

  1. ️ 100+ Creative Writing Exercises for Fiction Authors

    Eight. Pick a fiction book from your shelf. Go to page eight and find the eighth sentence on the page. Start with that sentence and write an eight-line poem that connects in some way to your work-in-progress. For instance, write from the POV of a character, or set the poem in a story setting. Don't worry about poetry forms.

  2. 43 Creative Writing Exercises & Games For Adults

    Creative writing prompts. Creative story cards / dice. Alternative Christmas Story. Murder Mystery Mind Map. New Year's resolutions for a fictional character. Stephen King - Using verbs & nouns in fiction. It's the end of the world. Other Content: 7 Editing exercises (for your first draft) How to run the writing exercises . Intro

  3. 24 of the Best Writing Exercises to Become a Better Writer

    Among both exercises to improve writing skills and fun writing exercises for adults, writing metaphor lists is one of the best writing exercises out there. A metaphor list is simple. On a notebook, create two columns. In one column, write down only concrete nouns. Things like a pillow, a tree, a cat, a cloud, and anything that can be perceived ...

  4. Creative Writing Worksheets

    150+ writing worksheets to help writers with common story, character and worldbuilding problems. Free for educational use.

  5. 105 Creative Writing Exercises: 10 Min Writing Exercises

    Creative writing exercises are short writing activities (normally around 10 minutes) designed to get you writing. The goal of these exercises is to give you the motivation to put words onto a blank paper. These words don't need to be logical or meaningful, neither do they need to be grammatically correct or spelt correctly.

  6. 100 Creative Writing Prompts for Writers

    100 Creative Writing Prompts for Writers. 1. The Variants of Vampires. Think of an alternative vampire that survives on something other than blood. Write a story or scene based on this character. 2. Spinning the Globe. Imagine that a character did the old spin the globe and see where to take your next vacation trick.

  7. 8 Creative Writing Exercises to Strengthen Your Writing

    Learning to write fiction is like training for a marathon. Before you get ready for the main event, it's good to warm up and stretch your creative muscles. Whether you're a published author of a bestselling book or a novice author writing a novel for the first time, creative exercises are great for clearing up writer's block and getting your creative juices flowing.

  8. Creative Writing Prompts

    Writing Prompts with Pictures. Write a story around the following image: Writing Prompt 49: Writing Prompt 50: Image: Interior Design/Shutterstock. Writing Prompt 51: Image: LaCozza/Fotolia. Writing Prompt 52: Image: anibal/Fotolia. Writing Prompts for Writer's Block. If you are troubled by writer's block, try one of these exercise.

  9. 13 Creative Writing Exercises: Become a Better Writer

    4 - Take one of your favorite short stories, either one you've written or one you've read, and write it in a different genre. For example, take a romance and write it as horror. This is a super fun exercise, and it lets you practice using tone and perspective! The tone of a story can change the meaning.

  10. 50 Fantastic Creative Writing Exercises

    For instance, bench pressing while reciting the emperors in a Chinese dynasty. 26. Write a paragraph where a character does a simple action, like turning on a light switch, and make the reader marvel at how strange and odd it truly is. 27. Have a couple fight while playing a board game.

  11. PDF Creative Writing Activity Packet

    Wonka Words is a creative argument-writing game. Works for slightly older students, although all can compete. Groups of three players or more. One player is the judge, and the judge thinks of something that the rest of the players have to guess. They can think of anything (a puppy, their grandpa, the table everyone is sitting at,

  12. 7 Creative Writing Exercises For Writers

    5. Try Writing Flash Fiction. Try to crank out a piece of flash fiction. As with other creative writing exercises, don't spend too much time at it. Simply sit down in front of the computer or a piece of paper, and begin writing. Flash fiction doesn't usually go beyond 500 words, so try to keep it short.

  13. 50 Fun Group Writing Exercises

    Writing exercises using simile and metaphor. Wild reactions. His face was as __ as a__ after the bug bite and we were all a bit worried. Comparing the moon. The moon is a__ tonight, its thin crescent glowing like a__. Making abstraction specific. My anxiety is like a__ on the first day of school. A__ with a __.

  14. Free Creative Writing Worksheets

    Creative Writing Storyboard: A creative writing storyboard is a worksheet that helps you visualize what you want to writer about. It includes sections for different scenes and can be used to plan your story's progression visually. Creative Writing Prompts: These prompts are worksheets that provide inspiration.

  15. 17 Character Development Exercises for Writers

    Exercise #17: Use Character Writing Prompts. There are a bunch of character-related creative writing prompts out there, and many of them can be quite helpful in getting your brain to think outside of the box. In theory, we could have a list much longer than 17 if we wanted to include more of these prompts, but that would end up being too much.

  16. Printable Creative Writing Worksheets

    Young writers will traverse the story mountain to create a narrative plot of their own! Students will consider various story elements, including characters, setting, climax, problem, and solution with this great visual aid. ... Creative writing worksheets encourage young students to express themselves in new and interesting ways. Unique mini ...

  17. 14 Best Writing Exercises to Help You Smash Writer's Block to Bits

    Paraphrasing is an amazing creative writing exercise to help new writers discover their voice by trying on the voice of others. 3. Write Flash Fiction. "Short fiction seems more targeted — hand grenades of ideas if you will. When they work, they hit, they explode, and you never forget them.

  18. 35 Writing Exercises for Adults

    Take a deep breath (or two) and write whatever comes to mind. 1. Write up to ten emotions on as many strips of paper and put them in a container. Choose an object, and then pick out one of the pieces of paper. Write about the object from the perspective of a character feeling that emotion.

  19. Plot Worksheets For Writers

    For those writers that are in need of a little plotting help to get the story back on track if you feel like you've lost it, to have an idea of where it's heading, or to lay out the entire story, here are links to plot worksheets that may help you.

  20. Creative Writing Activities and Games

    1) Free-writing: Free-writing is good as a warm-up exercise and as a strategy for overcoming fear or writer's block. Set a short time limit in advance (10 minutes maximum) and have students write continuously during this time. The goal during this time is not to write well, but to keep the pen moving and not to stop until the time is up.

  21. 65 Creative Writing About Spring Ideas to Inspire You

    Hooray for spring writing. I hope our lists of creative writing about spring ideas inspire you and your writers. Yes! That's all for today. Until next time, happy spring writing. If you enjoyed these Creative Writing about Spring Writing Ideas please share them on social media via TikTok. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest. I ...

  22. Writing Activities for Reluctant Writers

    Using a neutral or extended wrist is so important for pencil grasp, endurance in handwriting, and small motor movements of the fingers in isolation of the wrist. If your student is using a flexed (or bent) wrist, try paper position and placement. Encourage fine motor activities performed on a vertical surface or slanted surface. .

  23. 780 Best Writing Worksheets ideas

    Creative writing worksheets for writers: plot, story, character development and worldbuilding. ... Creative Writer Worksheet - No Time to Write (PDF) I know you lead a busy life. But if you think the answer to writing more lies in having more free time, you're fooling yourself. The more time you have to write, the more time you'll take. ...

  24. USM Center for Writers to Sponsor Creative Writing Day

    USM Center for Writers to Sponsor Creative Writing Day. Thu, 03/07/2024 - 08:41am | By: Van Arnold. Once upon a time … at a university nestled in the piney woods of South Mississippi, a group of enthusiastic literary buffs congregated to showcase their talents and share experiences in a unique forum called Creative Writing Day.