Writer's Block

Flowers

Pick one of the following flowers: Camellia, Azalea, Persimmon, Marigold, Holly, Elder, Ulmus, Verbena, Zinnia, Jonquil.
Now locate it in the list below to find out the symbolism behind your flower. Write a short story based around that meaning as a theme. Specifically mention your flower in passing in the story at least once.

  • Azalea: Fragile passion
  • Camellia: My destiny is in your hands
  • Persimmon: Bury me amid nature’s beauty
  • Marigold: Grief
  • Holly: Foresight
  • Elder: Compassion
  • Ulmus: Royalty, age
  • Verbena: Pray for me
  • Zinnia: I mourn your absence
  • Jonquil: Desire
Writer's Block

Pick-Up Line

Cheesy pick-up lines are the worst...but sometimes (when they work), they're the best conversation starters out there. Pick one of the pick-up lines from below and write down a conversation that you can imagine following afterward.

  • “Your smile is like Expelliarmus. Simple but disarming."
  • “Did it hurt? When you fell from heaven?”
  • “Are you a parking ticket? You’ve got fine written all over you.”
  • “Are you from Tennessee? Because your the only ten I see."
  • “If I could rearrange the alphabet, I’d put U and I together."
Character Development

Musicals

Your character’s story has been Disney-fied. At what point in the arc does your protagonist break out into song — and what is that song about?

Character Development

“You”

Second-person point of view is an intimate way of looking at a character’s thoughts. As an exercise, take a scene from the book you’re writing. Choose a character, and then re-write the scene entirely from a second-person POV, noticing what details shift because of this perspective change.

Character Development

Newsworthy

Your protagonist has just made it into a New York Times headline. What does the headline say? Write down the reaction of your protagonist to hearing the news that day.

Character Development

Stranger Comes Knocking

There’s a saying: “Everyone is the hero of his or her own story.” For a 10-minute writing exercise, enter your book from another character’s eyes. Think about how differently that character would experience your plot and capture that in a short story.

Character Development

Gossip Around Town

How people perceive your character may be markedly different from who your character really is. Think about what the average stranger might think — or hear — of your character. What’s the gossip around town concerning your character? Write down a scene in which your protagonist is forced to confront this gossip, and the consequences of that confrontation.

Plot Development

Choose Your Adventure

In a "Choose Your Adventure" book, you are forced to make a decision at each and every plot point. The decisions you make will take you down diverging paths and dictate your eventual fate. Try this if you’re stuck on a plot development detail in your story. Sketch out the two different paths that a character can experience from one plot point, depending on what action he or she chooses to take.