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1. Choose a colour. Go for a fifteen-minute walk and notice wherever you see that colour (take notes if you like). When you get back, write about the things you saw. This is a great exercise in observation.
2. Write about the sun as though you love it. Then write about it as though you hate it. You can of course try this exercise on anything.
3. List five things you most dislike touching, then find five adjectives to describe each item (e.g. maggots – slithery, wriggly, writhing). Do the same for your other senses.
4. Write about a recent incident you were involved in, from the point of view of someone else who was involved.
5. Find a news item that interests you. Using the ‘who, what, when, where, why’ of the item – and your imagination – rewrite it as a detailed narrative story.
6. Write about 300 words of dialogue. Show the difference between the two speakers only through the language they use (i.e don’t use ‘he said’, ‘she said’, etc.) You might want to use the dialogue generator to start you off with this one.
7. Choose a cliche and write an argument against it. If you can use your own – or someone else’s – experience, to support your argument, all the better. Here are a few cliches to start you off:
– What goes around comes around
– Money is the root of all evil
– Laughter is the best medicine
– There’s no such thing as a free lunch
– All good things come to those who wait
– Revenge is a dish best served cold
8.Write from the point of view of a household item. Then write a dialogue between yourself and the item.
9. Find a headline in a newspaper. Take the first word in the sentence and use it to begin another sentence – write whatever comes into your head, it doesn’t have to be related to the original headline. Do the same for each word in the sentence. Later on, look back over your new sentences and see if there’s one you’d like to develop.
10. Write a short story in less than 100 words (you might want to use one of the generators to start you off with this one)
11. Go out and look for characters. Go somewhere busy, where people are moving around, not just sitting. Practice making quick, discreet observations, taking in hairstyle, clothes, shoes, jewellery, manner of walking, expression.
12.Write about five ridiculous things you’d like to try once.
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