Most everyone has the ability to write creatively but it’s not easy to get started. How do you get what’s in your imagination to come out on paper? Well, just like our other Creative Mindflexors have shown, all you need is a little practice. In this exercise, you will be given some various creative writing prompts. Creative writing exercises help loosen up your imagination. The goal of this Mindflexor is to create lively writing that uses specific images that “shows” what is in your imagination rather than just “tells” us. You want to make sure you use descriptive words and choose well-thought out nouns and verbs.
You can do these exercises with two or more people, or on your own. Choose a prompt from the list below. Come up with a few possible ideas before you pick the best one. Then write without interruption for about 15 minutes. When coming up with your ideas, remember you can use all of your five senses (sight, sound, smell, touch, taste); you can shift your perspective (from close to far away, or from high to low); and consider the questions – who, what, when, where, and why.
Here are a list of prompts to help you practice your creative writing skills:
1. Describe a “first” (first lie, first success, first win, first roller coaster ride, first time in a particular place). Include as many details as possible, being sure to include an aspect relating to each of the five senses.
2. Describe a memorable event, positive or negative, and how it felt to you. Don’t say “I was sad or mad”, instead tell how it felt (red face, tight throat, eyes that stung).
3. Describe a significant place, allowing the details to reveal why the place matters. Describe it from a tree or rooftop or from a bird’s point of view; or from the height of a dog or a mouse.
4. Write the map to where you live. Start as close or as far from your home as you wish.
5. Starting with the phrase, “On the night of the full moon…”, create a story of one-syllable words only.
6. Create a short story that is 25 sentences long, each sentence beginning with the next letter of the alphabet.
7. Create a still-life in the room that implies a dramatic moment (e.g. an overturned chair, several balled-up pieces of paper, an open map, a torn envelope, a set of keys). Describe what happened either just before or just after that moment.
8. Describe the room of one of the following: a high school student about to drop out; a cashier who has just won the lottery; a faded movie star who still thinks she’s famous; a paranoid person, etc. Be as detailed as possible.
9. Come up with a list of nouns and a second list of verbs, all of one syllable each. Describe a scene or situation, using a minimum of ten words from each list.
10. Find an obscure News Headline and without reading it, write what you think the story behind the headline is.
The more you practice using these types of prompts or others that you come up with, the more comfortable you will get with writing creatively. With each exercise try to push your boundaries further – write in more detail, use more imaginative words, come up with unexpected twists. Being able to put your imagination down on paper is an incredibly useful tool that will help you with your overall ability to not only think creatively but also to express it.