Writing exercises to boost creativity

But others will be much better than you expected.

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How about you? Do you ever play with words? Share in the comments! Make sure to PLAY! When your finished with your poem, post it in the comments section.

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Two words: modernist poetry. Feel free to open a new document on your computer, get out a pen or a blank piece of paper, or even whip out your old-school typewriter the preferred method! Next, write the first word that comes to your mind. So I wrote it down. Then, the hard part: write another word.

Why is this hard? Do it anyway! After a few words, you can start a new line. Just do it when it feels right. Make up new words. Pay attention to the sounds of words.

Try to come up with the most random noun you can. Have fun! The illustration above depicts a compass for a scene showing character through a lot of dialogue and action, but very little thought and appearance.

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Each character has a signature color that captures his personality. Every time I start a project, I go to the hardware store and select paint swatches to match my protagonist and important members of the supporting cast. Every color exists somewhere on a color wheel as shown below.

Colors adjacent to one another are called analogous, and those across from each other are complementary. For instance, red is complementary to green, as blue is to orange and purple is to yellow. Where do your own characters fall in respect to one another? What shades are begging to be included? In art and design, negative space is the area surrounding an object as opposed to the object itself. When an author crafts a good story, it feels as though the characters extend beyond what we see on the page.

We imagine these characters having lives and experiences outside of that small slice we see in the book itself. Even if you never use that scene in the story itself, you will get a better understanding of that supporting character and her motivations. I have a word box on my desk. In it are slips of paper, each containing a single word. When I need a boost of inspiration, I close my eyes and pull between five and seven slips from the box.

The Writing Cooperative

If the paper and pencil version is not your style, you can also use a web-based random word generator like the one at randomlists. Start by writing a name or word vertically, one letter per line. Now craft a poem or paragraph of prose around that vertical word.


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You can make each letter the first in a sentence, or you can simply embed those letters into the text at random. Another fun way to use this tool is to create an acrostic bio for a character in your story.