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Similar exercises

Get your creative juices flowing with these similar writing prompts.

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 Power of Words

Write a list of random, free-association words. For creative writing, list ten words across ten columns. Then go to each column and add nine more words so that the result is ten columns and ten rows, a total of one hundred words. Just reading the list and noticing the creative leaps your mind has made may surprise you. If you like, continue the exercise by using all one hundred words in a short fiction piece. For poetry, select the words that suggest a common theme.

The Food Critic

Write a review of a restaurant at which you recently ate. Describe the food as much as you can. Feel free to be eviscerating as well.

Open-Ended

Have you ever read or watched something with an ending that left you unfulfilled, unsatisfied, or frustrated? Now write a proper ending that fixes the story for yourself. Keep in mind the components of a narrative arc's resolution while you're doing so.

First Meetings

When you meet new people, how do you react? Tell a story to illustrate this.