Over this past semester, I wasn't able to write much fiction. Usually, all I
could do was brainstorm on sticky notes or index cards to make progress in my
WIP. Academic writing filled my to-do list, and I got great grades on my class
papers. But, I still didn't feel like I was becoming a better fiction writer.
Frustration slowly grew throughout my time at college. I could find time to sit
and write, but not enough time to bust out chunks of quality pieces of my
A few hundred words here and there wasn't improving my craft. My skills weren't
being fine-tuned. I found that I needed other exercises to challenge me. Here
are some writing exercises that I found didn't take much time, but helped be
become a stronger writer.
Write a 300 word story second
person POV. Most writers stick to first person or third person point of
views. Sometimes when you write in the same point of view all the time, you
forget what makes a point of view unique. Writing becomes muscle memory, and
you stop thinking about how the way you phrase sentences influence how the
story is told. Notice, this entire paragraph is different than the beginning of
this blog post. Now, I'm talking to you. Second person is extremely
challenging, but it sort of resets your brain when you go back to writing first
Write 100 words where the last word of a
sentence is the first of the next. This is a fun challenge that you can
get creative with. This exercise makes you rethink your sentence structures.
Most of us have a default formula. In order to end a sentence with a word you
can even start the next one, you have to really stretch your mind.
Write from a first person POV who is blind.
The easiest sense to write is sight. Because it's the easiest, we writers use
it almost all the time. By writing through a POV who can't see, it forces you
practice writing characters who internalize other senses like smell or taste.
Write about a photo on pinterest from one
of these boards (make it extra hard by not describing what the photo looks
like.) This is helpful, because it forces you to take a drastic break in
subject from your WIP. If you normally write Science Fiction, writing about a
historical image might help break up your pace.
Sound of Music has been my favorite movie since I was in kindergarten. My second favorite scenes was the invasion of the Nazi's. Don't ask why? I guess it was foreshadowing to my future history major. My favorite scene is when Liesl sings, "I am sixteen going on seventeen." For years, I waited until I turned sixteen so I could sing that song. I didn't care that the two characters were falling in love. I just wanted to sing the lines, "I am sixteen," with accuracy. Well, today I am seventeen. In the past year, I never got the chance to watch Sound of Music and sing along. This kind of made me sad . . . Until I think back to all the times my sister, MK, sang the songs from The Sound of Music with beauty and grace. She fell in love with the movie just like had, and she doesn't care that she's not sixteen. She just loves music and singing. Listening to her was better than fulfilling a childhood dream. MK and my family make my…