Anything except the visual. Photo Shuffle This exercise encourages vivid description and also illustrates how perception will vary from person to person. Have each member in the class or workshop bring in a photograph or image, along with a short written passage describing what the image signifies to the individual.
Collect the images, shuffle them and pass them out, so that no one has the image with which he or she arrived. Now have each person write a passage that describes the subject or event shown in the photo and what it signifies. Then have each individual read his work aloud. Following this, ask the owner of the image explain what the photo meant to him or her.
Skimping on Adjectives Creative writing instructors often caution against using too many adverbs, but adjectives too can become problematic if overused.
To combat that, have students or workshop members perform a simple creative writing activity: Describe something in detail without using adjectives. The brook in the gully behind the garden, a trembling trickle most of the time, was tonight a loud torrent that tumbled over itself in its avid truckling to gravity, as it carried through corridors of beech and spruce last year's leaves, and some leafless twigs, and a brand-new, unwanted soccer ball that had recently rolled into the water from the sloping lawn after Pnin disposed of it by defenestration.
Word String Good diction can make the difference between an ordinary piece of writing and a spectacular one. This exercise is designed to have individuals notice the language used in a piece of writing and encourages them to expand their own repertoires. Distribute a short story to everyone in the group and have them read it.
Ask them to make an A-Z list of appealing words from the story, one word for each letter of the alphabet. When everyone has finished, suggest a starting word, and have someone choose a word from his or her list that begins with the final letter of your original word. Have each person in turn add a word that begins with the final letter of the word that came before it. Alternatively, have them create a piece of flash fiction one word at a time, with each student contributing where possible.
Alphabetical Sentence To spark new and unusual ideas, have students work alone or in small groups to write a sentence where each subsequent word begins with the next letter of the alphabet. For instance: "Acids, bases, compounds" Dorothy explains, "for group homework. Have students go on for as long as they are able X,Y, Z can get a little tricky , and then if you like, have them work in the reverse direction.
Or ask them to use the idea, setting, or character that resulted to write a short piece of fiction. Such limited constraints will sometimes yield fresh and surprising concepts or descriptions.
Removing Stale Similes To inspire fresh language and avoid phrases such as "melt like butter," "fresh as a daisy" and "slippery as an eel," make a list of the beginning of similes, similar to the example below, and have students complete these phrases with new comparisons that help lift the prose.
Students could choose the worst simile they can find from sites such as The Manbottle. They could then explain to the others why the simile does not work.
Reader Suggested Activities Year Choose a year in the future and have students write in detail about the world and what they or their characters will be doing in it.
Will the story be distopian? Will the future be good or a dark scary place? Word Bag: Each group receives one brown bag containing 10 or more words. Students work together to categorize the words or create an interesting sentence.
Please see links to longer reader-suggested activities after the submission form below Submit Your Creative Writing Activities or Scroll Down for More Do you have a creative writing activity you'd like to share?
Write it here. Enter Your Title We may edit this. Share Your Idea! Close Help Entering your story is easy to do. Just type Our hope is that these activities will create a workshop-like environment that fosters feedback and collaboration in your writing classroom.
Instead, the activities encourage creativity, reflection, and self-expression—hallmarks of meaningful writing. Minilesson 1: InstaMemory Imagine a favorite memory as a cellphone picture. Finish this sentence starter: My memory snapshot shows. Make sure to include who is in it, what is happening, where it is happening, and when it is happening. Note colors, emotions, facial expressions, and other visual details about the moment.
Read your memory snapshot. Does your writing create a clear picture? View Minilesson for Classroom Presentation Minilesson 2: Back-and-Forth Stories Writing back-and-forth stories takes a little creativity and a lot of flexibility.
How long can you and a partner keep this story going? An abandoned home sat at the top of the hill. Matt and Brianna knew the rumors about it, but they had to see it for themselves. Write a story entirely in dialogue, having one side of the conversation unspoken [redacted]. Make sure the reader can guess at what the redacted parts are by what the other character says. Describe two characters having a wordless conversation, communicating only through gestures.
Try to see how long you can keep the conversation going without any words spoken, but end it with one of them saying a single word, and the other one repeating the same word.
At the same time, avoid sentimentality. Have two character have a conversation with only a single word, creating emphasis and context so that the word communicates different things each time it is spoken.
Objects: Have the character describe the object in a way that convinces the reader of its beauty. Now write a second version where you convince the reader through describing the object alone that the character is mentally unstable. Write down five emotions on slips of paper and slip them into a hat. Now go outside and find a tree. Draw one emotion from the hat, and try to describe that tree from the perspective of a character feeling that emotion.
Have a character who is devastated to find this object, and tell the story of why this object devastates them. Go to an art-based Pinterest page and find your favorite piece of art. Pick a simple object like a vase, a broom, or a light bulb, and write a scene that makes the reader cry when they see the object.
Emotions: Write a character who is forced to confront one of those fears. Now try to condense that page into a single searing sentence.TIP: Since most people scan Web pages, include your best thoughts in your first paragraph. Does your writing create a clear picture? Word Bag: Each group receives one brown bag containing 10 or more words. Photo Shuffle This exercise encourages vivid description and also illustrates how perception will vary from person to person.
If you have time for a "Part II" to this exercise, have each pair revise their dialogue set to include "beats," or the the "action tags" that show the small actions characters take as they engage in dialogue. For instance: "Acids, bases, compounds" Dorothy explains, "for group homework. Then have them summarize the same passage in vivid and appropriate detail. What sort of character do these two words suggest, in what setting, and what situation? Dialogue simulates real conversation, it is not an exact copy.
I hope the creative writing ideas here can also be of use to writers looking for warm up exercises or story starters.
Cleaning my room is an example of a chore you might not like. You can wrap a word in square brackets to make it appear bold. What happens next? The partner continues the story where you left off and writes for two minutes before passing the story back. Then you remember. Now go outside and find a tree.
Characters: Go to an art-based Pinterest page and find your favorite piece of art. Dialogue simulates real conversation, it is not an exact copy. Close Help Entering your story is easy to do.
It can be a story one of your parents or grandparents shared about something that happened many years ago, or it can be a more recent event a friend or family member recounted. Continue the story.
Write a dialogue between these two characters, where one character is determined not to give in to the other, to create extrinsic tension. Begin a paragraph that begins with that sentence and limit the length to 7 lines. A single poem can provide a rich source of creative writing ideas for fiction writers who can use specifics in the poem as a starting point for a narrative. Have a character dine at a blind restaurant, a restaurant in pitch blackness where all the servers are blind, and describe for a full paragraph how the tablecloth, their clothing, and the hand of their dining partner feels different in the darkness. Open it up to page 7. Look at the 7th sentence on the page.