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Creative Writing Exercises

To Generate New Short Story Ideas

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Looking Up a Dictionary
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Sometimes the hardest part of writing is figuring out what to do with that blank page. Coming up with new short story ideas doesn't have to be painful, however. These exercises are designed to get you writing -- and hopefully on your way to a new short story.

  • Freewriting

    At the very least, freewriting forces you to put words on the page (a good start toward curing writer's block). Ideally, however, you'll find yourself writing about ideas and situations worth greater exploration.
  • Secrets

    This popular writing exercise for groups or pairs uses secrets to suggest plots and themes you might not write about normally. Your little secret could give someone big ideas.
  • Writing from Pictures

    Photographs or other images often suggest a narrative. Working alone, in pairs, or in groups, discover a story you wouldn't have thought of on your own.
  • Dictionary Writing Prompts

    Sometimes simply using new words can inspire your writing to take a new direction. In this exercise, a few words chosen at random will provide a new focus for today's writing.
  • Idea Box

    Start collecting words, phrases, images, and objects that inspire you so that when writer's block strikes, you have a place to turn.
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