Writer's Block

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.


Discuss this exercise

Feel inspired? Share your story below.

Similar Exercises

Get your creative juices flowing with these similar creative writing exercises.

Writer's Block

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 …

Writer's Block

Set The Stage

Believe it or not, choosing the right setting is one of the most important decisions to make when planning a scene. The location can add mood, supply tension and conflict, steer the plot, characterize, foreshadow, …

Writer's Block

The Next Great Author

Develop a character that's an author. Write a short story from the point of view of that author.

Writer's Block

The Box

As a visual reference, select a box that has dimensions under 12X12 inches. Tape the box closed. Set the box in front of you. Write a story or poem based on what is inside the …

Writer's Block

Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.” So began Seth Grahame-Smith’s book, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which (you guessed it) re-imagined …

Writer's Block

The Truth Shall Set Your Characters Free

In order to dive deeper into your character’s emotional depths, ask a round of questions — both probing and seemingly innocuous alike. (Hey, you never know when your character’s favorite choice of ice cream topping …