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5 Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers

Finding your creative place to begin writing isn’t always easy to do. There are times when creativity seems just as fleeting as a million-dollar lottery win. With these unique writing exercises for fiction writers, you’ll be able to work on your skills while finding prompts that can help you beat back a tough case of writer’s block at the same time.

Exercise #1: The Rewrite

Find a non-fiction book or a textbook. Open it up to a random page. Then take the first paragraph that is at least 5 lines long and rewrite it from a fictional standpoint. Your goal? To turn that often dry information into something that is interesting within your fictional world. Then repeat this two more times – there is no time limit on this exercise.

Your creativity development is more important than working toward a time deadline.

Exercise #2: Debate Class

When taking a debate class, you’re assigned a subject matter and whether you must be for or against it. For this writing exercise, go to a news website and your subject matter will become the top headline that is offered.

Then have two characters debate the subject matter, both for and against it. You can have each debate monologue be in the first person or the third person voice – it’s your choice. Don’t create a winner. Just have each character describe their argument in great detail and let the imaginary reader choose who is right or wrong.

Exercise #3: Forrest Gump

In the movie Forrest Gump, Tom Hanks as Forrest is sitting on a bench. A woman sits down beside him and he introduces himself. He then offers her a chocolate from a box that he’s holding. “I could eat about a million and a half of these,” he says. “My mama always said that life is like a box of chocolates… you never know what you’re going to get.”

Now maybe life isn’t like a box of chocolates. What if life was like owning a minivan? Or like playing a video game? Or like eating broccoli for every single meal? Choose 5 different ways that could describe life and then discuss why you feel like life is that way.

And don’t forget to wear your comfortable shoes.

Exercise #4: One Fish, Two Fish

Dr. Seuss wrote a number of famous rhyming stories. Many were for kids, but there were some adult stories in there as well. What made his storying telling unique was the rhythm and timing of his rhymes. Dr. Seuss had to be precise with his words in order for the rhythm to remain consistent.

His stories are fun, but they are that way because he was so precise.

So put a hat on your hat, break out the green eggs and ham, and start writing in rhyme. Keep your patterns as precise as possible. Do this for about 10 minutes. Edit your work as you are doing it.

By focusing on precision, you can create descriptions, dialogue, and other details with greater accuracy for your reader. This will help to bring your fiction to life.

Exercise #5: The Letter

Musical artist Geoff Moore sings a song called “The Letter” on the album Threads with his band The Distance. The song begins with this line: “Today I got your letter. The one you said I never would read.”

And creating this letter in real life is a fantastic writing exercise. What holds many writers back from their creativity are unexplored emotions. Pain. Grief. Resentment. Instead of processing these feelings, they are held inside to fester until they eventually explode outward.

Instead of a messy emotional mess, write a letter to someone that you will never send to them. Say the things that you need to say. If you don’t have a personal letter to write, then have a character in your story do this instead. Explore the emotions that are present. Describe what happened and what issues you may have.

Conclude the letter with a resolution or a call for reconciliation. This will help you as a writer be able to draw difficult moments in your stories to a conclusion as well. Then delete the file, throw the paper away, and move the experiences felt during the writing process into the story you are creating.

These unique writing exercises for fiction writers can help you to improve your writing skills as you remove obstacles that may be keeping you from writing. Your stories will benefit thanks to the depths of development and description that you’ll be able to add to them from the efforts these exercise encourage.

And remember: take time every day if possible to complete at least one writing exercise so you can keep this skill honed.

Melissa G Wilson

Melissa has been a leader in the book writing, publishing and marketing arena for the past two decades. To date, she has helped more than 100 thought leaders write, publish and market their books. Her clients include executives such as Dan Weinfurter a seven-time Inc 500 winner and Orlando Ashford, President of Holland Cruise Lines.

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