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Thread: What's the best writing exercise you've ever done?

  1. #76
    The new me oneblindmouse's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
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    St Albans, UK
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    4,115
    One of the exercises I found most helpful was writing a scene purely with dialogue between three characters. First, I drew up their three very different characters and what point each one was trying to make. Then I wrote the words they said, then I added the body language, and finally the description. It was fun.

    "Strange Destinies" by Guillermo Rubio Arias-Paz, translated from the Spanish and out now on Amazon and the Endless Bookcase.

    Goodreads

  2. #77
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Mechanicsville, Va
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    17
    one of the best writing devices I encountered amounts to
    contemplation,
    lack of self reflection / concern
    to perfect creative selfless intent in manifesting
    word.

    Love is fearless,
    a simple emotion apart from pride,
    non impulsive,
    elevated states of love may induce creative hallucinations.
    Living in love when writing seems to encourage automatic professional quality material.

    Free form role playing was another useful device to me as an author,
    the utilization of character diversity to study newness
    to explore beyond the reaches of my own psyche
    what may be.

  3. #78
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    California
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    39
    One of the best things that happened to me was getting so pissed and having nowhere to go. The only way to let go was to get a piece of paper and just write. I did so without thinking and that eventually led to my story.

    I think letting your inner-self free is a good exercise to help cultivate a habit. Creative writing exercise. Letting go is the best thing you can do, freeing up your fears and expectations.

    C. J. Thibeaux

  4. #79
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    40
    I did a fun one where we had a photograph and had ten minutes to write a flash fiction piece using the photo as inspiration.

  5. #80
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    9
    This is my own exercise, but maybe I picked it up from somewhere or someone else and I don't recall, LOL. I take a piece of paper, and I write down the topic and put a circle around it. Then, I brainstorm about the topic and write down all the words or phrases that come to mind which could possibly connect with it. It's like a flow chart with all the words emanating out from the circle. Hope that makes sense.

  6. #81
    practical experience, FTW tylermarab1987's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Alabama
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    344
    The best writing exercise I have done: Writing.

  7. #82
    practical experience, FTW
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    268
    It was not intended as an exercise in writing, but I was drawn into a pre-Internet online forum. It was initially associated with writers and editors at the magazine I had submitted to, but it became filled with articulate and creative people. We had discussions. These were not quick back-and-forth things, but required well thought out points to make, doing research in many cases (remember, pre-Internet!) and making your case well in the medium. Well, not every thread was on that level; but the casual ones had a high level of literate style too. I eventually found out that there were many, many more active lurkers than members I engaged with. We were being read for entertainment! I imagined it must be like a fusion of PBS documentaries and screwball comedy like Faulty Towers.

    Anyway, I had learned the right way to write an essay in high school and went through it again first semester of college. But there's no substitute for experience. Write a well-structured essay several times a day for a year, and you get good at it. I realized that I knew how to organize such an essay intuitively as I was formulating my responses (arguments, criticism, etc.) in the same way.

    (Spelling, OTOH, not so much. I still thank them for indulging me so I could use all the words I know, unlike many school teachers where I had to limit my vocabulary to words I was pretty sure I could spell. Spelling came a few years later with word processors that did live spell check.)

  8. #83
    figuring it all out
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Greece
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    62
    It had to do with getting to know my characters because I felt like they all sounded the same. So it was to write fanfiction, in a way, about my characters. How they'd react in some specific circumstances, about their past events e.t.c. It really helped me to get to know them and feel like they're real people.

  9. #84
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Sep 2017
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    25
    Proof reading while doing jumping jacks in front of the two way tv in the morning.

  10. #85
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Oct 2017
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    There was one I picked up from another forum, and that was to write from the perspective of a person in a specific year going about everyday life. For example, a person going about life in the year 2400 would be completely different from a person going about life in the year 1960. I found this to be really helpful in terms of writing in different perspectives, and it can be extended to writing in different places instead of time periods.

  11. #86
    Shard Knight Fullon_v4.0's Avatar
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    Jan 2014
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    Mantlestown
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    I like writing a "chapter" about literally anything. When I say chapter, I mean 2-4 pages of an event that could easily be the beginning, middle or end of a story. Even if it amounts to someone picking their teeth or an epic space battle, it at least got me to use the creative side of my brain.

  12. #87
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin JinxKing's Avatar
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    Mar 2016
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    43
    Short bursts of free-writing, without a doubt. The first thing I do every time I start a new Scrivener file or WIP is create a new document within it called 'bits' and whenever I find myself lagging on the story or dragging my feet about writing, I flip over to my bits folder and just free-write whatever comes to me at the moment. I like using Pinterest images as prompts too. At some point during my editing process I tend to skim my bits folder for the best pieces and integrate them into the novel wherever they fit. Sometimes I end up writing entire scenes or chapters there and some of my favorite parts of my books grow naturally from that.

    I think most writing block or lack of inspiration comes from us trying to chain ourselves down, so even going off the planned path for a minute or two and letting whatever comes come, can be really refreshing and inspiring.

    As far as productivity itself goes, the best thing I've ever put into practice is using the Tomato Timer lmao...I'm kind of in love with it.
    I write under the names Apollo Blake & Cosmo Knox~

    My Blog / My Books



  13. #88
    Learning to read more, post less
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    100
    it has helped me, i think it has anyway, to read what i've written, and try to really boil down a paragraph or scene or chapter into a few words, or even one word. sometimes that word(s) is not 'she is scared' or 'he is finding himself' or 'the monster is outside the door' or whatever, the word will be this is 'boring' or dragging, etc, and that paragraph or page or pages then are deleted or at least improved, hopefully. boiling it down to things like growing, dying, helping, suffering, healing, killing, saving, crying, screaming, smiling, etc. can help focus a scene and add depth at the same time. like a character can be growing but dying, healing but suffering, crying but smiling, etc.
    Last edited by ancon; 11-08-2017 at 07:45 PM.

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