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Similar exercises

Get your creative juices flowing with these similar writing prompts.

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.

The 81-Word Story

This exercise encourages you to write a complete story using very few words, and helps you learn how to avoid overwriting. When undertaking this exercise, it's essential to edit your work carefully. Strip out anything unnecessary and make every word count. Here's how it works:

  1. Take any novel from your bookshelf
  2. Turn to page 9
  3. Take the 9th word from the 9th line on the page
  4. Use that word to start a story
  5. Write a story that is exactly 81 words long
  6. If you're feeling particularly clever, use 9 sentences that are 9 words long
You can also feel free to visit this website and submit your story to the 81 word writing challenge.

The Word Salad

Our subconscious minds combine items in unexpected, sometimes whimsical ways. Set a timer for twenty minutes and use at least three of these words in your draft. Write without stopping: a red scarf, windshield wiper, chrome, doily, blowtorch, spatula, CD-ROM, postage stamp, frittering, static cling, radio silence, kismet, calamity, heartburn, bandage.

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3-2-1 Gone

Your protagonist opens a purse or a desk drawer and finds three objects. By the end of your piece there's only one item left. What happens to the other two?

Magic #50

At the root of all writer's block? Fear. You'll recognize it by the questions you ask yourself when you sit down to write: Can Ireally finish an entire story? Am I a good enough writer to pull this off? Will this story matter to anyone? Or am I wasting my time? And what if I sound dumb?But the specific fear doesn't matter if you know how to soothe it. Here's what to do: Lie down. On the couch. In bed. In the tub (Hey, don't knock it! Sometimes it's the only place writers can find some time alone!). Lie down where it's comfortable and quiet, and write fifty words.That's it.Either the exercise helps you break through the anxiety, and you keep writing. Or you have fifty words more than you had yesterday, and you try again tomorrow. Either way, lie down and write fifty words.

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