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Similar exercises

Get your creative juices flowing with these similar writing prompts.

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

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.

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"Blue"

You are talking to a blind man who asks you to describe the color of the sky. Write down what you would tell this man without once using the word "blue" in your explanation.

One Word

Open a dictionary, close your eyes, pick a random word, and write about it. Go on, see how much you can write about one word in thirty seconds. It doesn't matter if you think it's great or silly or you think it's a beautiful word that everyone should use in every conversation. Write it!

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