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Similar exercises

Get your creative juices flowing with these similar writing prompts.

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."

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.

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.

Eight

Pick a fiction book from your shelf. Go to page eight and find the eighth sentence on the page. Start with that sentence and write an eight-line poem that connects in some way to your work-in-progress. For instance, write from the POV of a character, or set the poem in a story setting. Don't worry about poetry forms. Just write eight lines of any length that flow and explore some aspect of character, setting, or theme.

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.