B: 5 Best Writing Exercises

I don’t have any stories whose titles begin with B (which was kind of surprising to me), so today we have a writing tip instead, and since it’s the beginning of Camp NaNoWriMo I thought writing exercises would be a good choice.

1. Find a Writing Prompt

Obviously this one’s pretty simple, but there are a couple of different ways it can be used. The first would be to simply freewrite based on a prompt and see what comes of it; the other would be to find a way to make it tie in with the story you’re writing. Both of these have their benefits. With freewriting, it gives you a chance to just write whatever comes to mind and get the words flowing, and it has the potential to give you a new plot bunny (just make sure you put that plot bunny in the cage of waiting plot bunnies instead of letting it lead you away from your current project). If you try to tie it in with your current project, this challenges you to think outside the box and think differently about your project than maybe you did before.

(Need some prompts? Check out my writing prompts board on Pinterest!)

2. Use Music

I adore music. I don’t know what I’d do without music. And music can also be helpful for writing. (I’ve actually written two different posts correlating the two, one on music and writing and one on music in writing.) While you can listen to it while writing or use it in your writing, you can also use it to inspire writing. For instance, take the song that was last playing in your head and use the lyrics or the title as a writing prompt (see option #1). Or start up a Spotify playlist and change tone with the music (This would probably work best with things like movie and game soundtracks. I have a playlist like this here).

3. Write a Bonus Scene

This can be a bonus scene that could plausibly happen in the story (I have several bonus scenes planned for The Dark War Trilogy that involve certain characters meeting each other, and I’ve placed the majority of them on a plausible timeline), or just putting your character into a strange scenario that would never happen canonically. For instance, describe what would happen if your character got an untrained puppy and had to train it not to claw up the furniture. If they’re a character who would never get a dog, or would make sure the dog was trained first, you have the added challenge of figuring out how they got into that situation in the first place.

4. Go Out

Out to your backyard, out to a coffee shop, out to the park… Go out. This can be great for getting your creative juices flowing whether it’s just because you’re in a new place and your brain shifts or because you decide to use the setting as inspiration. You could write about what you see, hear, feel, smell, taste; you could take the experience and save it for future reference (I did a lot of this when I went to the beach in November); you could find character inspiration from the people around you; there are a vast number of ways to get inspired by just getting out.

5. Write Outside of Your Comfort Zone

Write something different than what you usually do. If you write fantasy, write a scene of historical fiction. If you write novels, try your hand at a poem. If you generally write from a female POV, try a male MC. Do something different and point your brain in a different direction for a little while.

I’d love to hear which of these worked or didn’t for you, so feel free to leave a comment and let me know what was helpful to you. :)

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