Everyone (including me) goes on and on about exercising the body, but if you're interested in writing, there is another muscle you should be exercising and as a keen writer, I would like to share some simple tips on how to improve your creative writing skills with some simple 'exercises'. I know it sounds cheesy, but I like to see creative writing as something similar to physical exercise, with hard work, determination and a certain amount of discipline involved. So get ready to 'flex' and 'stretch' with these creative writing exercises, to help you improve your creative writing skills.
Just like there are apps out there to help you exercise your body, there are some great apps to help you exercise your creative writing muscle. Write a Book Free for example, is an app which gives you creative writing prompts through a randomised selection of characters, situations, locations and a random object appsto.re. It's great fun. Another great app for flexing your creative writing muscles is the Flash Fiction Prompter which gives you instant story combinations, which then form the basic ingredients for your story appsto.re. This can be a great way to improve your creative writing skills. So go ahead and flex those apps!
Writing for 20 minutes a day can also help you keep that creative muscle supple. It's a form of therapy and a great way to switch off from the other things going on in your world. If you need some prompts, there is a fabulous website with creative writing prompts. creativewritingprompts.com Just choose a number from 1 to 346 and write for 20 minutes with the prompt. You can also make your own prompt dice. Just buy a couple of large dice, write some random words on cards and stick them on. Then throw the dice and work with the words you're given. You can change the words whenever you're bored of your selection.
Fancy being the new blog on the block? Blogging is another great way to exercise that creative writing muscle. There are so many blogs out there but there is always enough room on the blogosphere for another one. It's infinite space remember and a great way to get your writing out there for others to read.
A writing class is a great way to meet with like-minded individuals who share your passion for creative writing. It can be the perfect place to share ideas, build your confidence and get constructive feedback to help improve your own writing. If there isn't one in your area, why not set one up.
You can also use novels as a stimulus, imagining what may have happened to minor characters and by writing from their perspective. For example, imagine a story written from the perspective of Jane Gallagher from the Catcher in the Rye. Or from the perspective of Curley's Wife in Of Mice and Men had she become the movie star she dreamed she'd be. It's all about experimenting with different voices and characters. And if it doesn't work don't worry, just file it away in your 'Projects to Return to' file. You never know, it may re-ignite your imagination at some point in the future.
Competitions are great and can be found in many writing magazines. Just as you would prepare for a physical competition, a creative writing competition will involve training and preparation. And just like physical exercise, having a competition can be a great goal to work towards. If you know that there's a competition you would like to enter, having a writing 'target' will mean you're more likely to persevere.
Newspapers can be great for inspiration too. Read newspapers and pay particular attention to the stories that have taken up the more modest of column inches. Quite often these are the most intriguing and inspiring stories. Many great writers have been inspired by a story in a newspaper and quite often, the truth is much stranger than fiction! Remember to create a scrap book of newspaper clippings.
These are just a few ways to exercise that creative writing muscle. What sorts of creative writing exercises do you enjoy doing to get keep your creative writing muscle 'toned'?
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