Writing Exercises

Last updated December 13th, 2012

Over the Summer: The Dandelion Prompt

The link to the photo is here:

The point of this excercise is to write something inspired by the photo, not about it. A descriptive piece isnt exactly what we’re looking for, but a description of the emotion it evokes would work just fine.



Wandering, wandering. Steps that couldn’t seem to stay straight. Aware; yet unaware of the surrounding objects. Blurry; yet not blurry.

Everything seemed out of perspective. Life, laughter, beautiful things, love. It all seemed so out of context. Not the way it should be. Over exaggerated.

The trees loomed too high-too close-, the sound of waves too loud. The smell of maple out of place among the pine trees.  The taste of dirt was everywhere in my mouth. Stumbling over roots, crashing into trees, landing on rocks, scraped, bruised, and bloodied.

It all seemed so wrong. So unfair. So irregular for where I was where was I? Was I dreaming? Was I wide awake? Daydreaming? All wrong but so right…




The basic point of this prompt is to write for a set amount of time about a feature. Features are one of the most prominent features that can draw you to said person. Eyes can draw you to people; the person’s smile can be the attraction point. Features are what make people.

To get the prompt started, brainstorm 5 to 8 features that draw a person to another. Then choose an amount of time to write to. 5 to 10 minutes will suffice. Then you write out your piece. At the end of the writing time, for those who want to read, you read out loud your piece of writing.


Maryanna Feature


Two, glowing eyes.

Two pale, gold, glowing eyes staring through the smoke.

Two glowing eyes distinguished features of the hulking shadow blotting out the sun

It wound later turn at that those eyes were lest alone for only a moment, and in that moment a child curiosity was awakened from a decade worth of slumbers.

Two glowing eyes that were only supposed to be let out at night.




Stream of Conciousness:

1. Begin with a simple sentence that could be very open.
    For this excercise, we have chosen “I remember”.

2. Write non-stop for a set amount of time.
    (Recommended: five minutes).

3. Write whatever comes to mind, no matter how ridiculous it is.
    You could write about dancing kittens if you wanted to. This
    excercise is about freedom, about getting the creative juices flowing.
    You could come up with some sort of Shakespearean poetry, or just
    ramble for five minutes about Pop-Tarts. Anything is acceptable, but
    here is an example from a member of the group:

I remember back when the sky was black, when there was never a dawn in this desolate ashy sky. The tire swing that moved with the wind. The trees, shaking heavily with those great big gusts– from Canada, I swear those were. The lake, with the edges frozen over, but the centre mirror-black and littered with autumn leaves as it always was. I remember thinking it would never change, I remember thinking I’d never change. And what has twenty two years, six months and eight days taught me? That change is the only constant thing in this world.

These trees. I would have thought they’d be a hundred feet tall by now. But no, some sort of rot– they’d been ripped from their roots and replaced with new ones, skinny birches with their bark peeling in the wind, unable to stand the wind like the sturdy oaks that used to stand in their place.

Twenty two years, six months, and eight days.
Change is constant.




Nonsense Poem

1. Make a list of words. It can be anything you want, any random word at all, as long
    as it rhymes with a reasonable number of other words. For example, don’t choose
    ’orange’. I reccommend that you make a list of five words.

2. For each of the five words, make a couplet; the first line ending with the given word,
    and the second rhyming with the first.

For example:
Word: Eleven

My favourite number is eleven.
But I dont like the number seven.

Okay, so that one’s pretty lame. So, come up with some better words than we did.

Our list:

  • Cup
  • Shoe
  • Pixie
  • Mexican
  • Barbeque

Now, our poem:

Yesterday, I fell in a cup
It was so big I thought I fell up
I met an old lady who lived in a shoe
We galloped together and went to the zoo
On the way we found a pixie
Which on the way we found very quite trixie
Then off to the vet was the Mexican
Who was later found under a hexagon
And then they all met down at the barbeque
And as of yet, I don’t know what else to do.

Another example:
I only had myself and a cup
But it certainly wasn’t empty, no, there in was a pup
He was oh so tiny he had no shoes
Yet no matter, he works so well as a muse
See, I’m but a pixie
And I like to write about a missy
She gave me my pup, they’re Mexican
Now I like to say they’re Canadian
I need to leave, tonight’s a BBQ
So fare thee well, and good night too




The ‘So He…’ Game.

1. Take a piece of paper, and begin your story with a sentence.
    This sentence can say ANYTHING imaginable.

2. Make sure the line ends mid-sentence, so someone is able
    to continue it.

3. Fold the paper to hide your sentence, and hand it to the
    next person, telling them where your sentences ended–
    for example, ’so he…’ (hence the name) so they are able
    to finish the sentence, and start the next line.

4. Continue!

5. Unfold the paper and read the random, unconnected story!




For an example, Authors Anonymous tried this very same excersise….

When Creative Minds Collaborate…

The Alien Monkeys of Crazy Town Number 7 had invaded Earth, so the humans

Raided the grocery store for zucchini and cupcakes. Unfortunately, they were all out, so they

Flew to Wal-Mart in an enchanted bathtub, but unfortunately, they

Found out penguins had become extinct and cried until their bodies shrivelled up like prunes. And then the dinosaurs

Ran around and eating every butterfly and stopping crime in their batman suit, out of the dark Frosty the Toastman found

Out he had inherited narcolepsy during his midnight ‘dreams’ and so far

The only things he had packed in his bag were chocolate chip muffins, which were

Black, pure black… they stared for a moment, questioning the offending item. After all, who were they

To diss the wonderful skulls dancing around them in a mysterious bone dance, so the skulls

Demanded a sacrifice and all who remained were promptly, and in a rather gruesome fashion, NOM’d.