Ten Writing Exercises to Kick Start Your New Writing Year

Hopefully now we’ve all recovered from the overindulgence of Christmas and we are now ready to settle into a new year of writing. I’ve started writing my own projects for the year this week and it’s a good time to get started on yours. If you’re struggling, here are a few ideas to get you going:

  1. Compile a list of titles for new stories.
  2. Describe the living space of a character. Let it reveal who they are.
  3. Browse some books you’ve never read before. Write down the titles which capture your imagination. Write your own plot from the title you like the most.
  4. Find a picture with a person in it. Use art, postcards, news articles or even a photograph archive website such as fotosearch. Write about who that character is. They might have a story to tell!
  5. Have a read through the 70 Most Beautiful English Words http://www.homelingua.com/study-and-learning/favourite-english-words . Pick one and free-write on it, writing non-stop to a time limit. You can do this one again and again for each word if you like. Even once you’ve done all 70 words, you could do the same words again and get different results.
  6. Make a list of your most hated words and free-write on one of them. Warning: you might cringe a lot when doing this exercise!
  7. Make up a character name. There are lots of resources online to create a random name. Use one of these and create a character from one of those names. If you don’t like the first name you get, keep going until you come across one with whom you feel a connection. Describe who they are and tell their story.
  8. Write about an emotion without mentioning the name of it. For example, you could write about love by showing a couple taking a walk together. See my story, Ours: https://tanwencoyne.co.uk/books/ours/
  9. Describe a couple’s first kiss. Let it develop into a full piece.
  10. Use the voice of a tree to tell about the coming of Spring. Be specific about the type of tree it is and give it a strong character. See the world through its perspective.

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