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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.

"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.

Love Letters

If you're feeling stuck or intimidated about how to start writing, take five minutes before you jump into your writing project to pen a love letter (or hate letter) to the blank page in front of you. It's surprising where words - any words - will lead you once you put them down.

The Hammer and the Hatchet

A stranger walks into the general store and buys a hammer, a hatchet, some rope, and an apple. What does he do with them?

No Vowel

Write a passage without the letter "E" or "A." This is known as a lipogram and has been used by authors in many languages to write their novels. You will use unusual sentence constructions, and it may slow you down for a while, but it will certainly force your brain to work in different ways.