Strengthen Your Creative Muscles with these Writing Exercises
Just as our bodies need regular exercise to function at their optimum capacity, so do our minds. When you’re on the path to publishing your own book, you would want to ensure that your writing is at its best. Writing exercises can benefit every writer. They are designed to warm up and stretch your creative muscles before you begin to write. Most creative writing exercises are also effective in clearing up writer’s block. They are primarily short bursts of improvisational writing. They can vary from one line to a short story. These writing drills can prompt you to approach familiar concepts in new ways.
Every writer should make these short, spontaneous assignments a part of their daily routine. It will allow them to expand their skills by learning how to approach a theme in different ways. Here are five such exercises that have been proven to enhance writing skills-
Use writing prompts
Writing prompts are the most constructive approach to generate writing ideas. Writing prompts are a sentence or short passage that a writer can use as a starting point. The result is a spontaneously created story. For instance, you’re given the prompt- “You find yourself alone in a forest in the middle of the night…” Your task will be to build upon this thought. You can create your own writing prompts by choosing a line from a novel or a topic from a magazine. You can also find writing prompts online on several websites, including the online self-publishing platform Pencil.
Try the “In This Room” exercise
If you’re feeling lazy on a Saturday morning, try this exercise from your couch. Observe the room you’re sitting in closely. Use all your five senses to perceive what is around you. Perhaps you can hear the birds chirping outside, or smell the freshly brewed coffee. Now, translate what you can hear, see, smell, touch, taste and feel into words. Your goal should be to be able to write in a way that other people can experience what you’re experiencing. Observation is an important skill for being a good writer. Focusing on your senses can make your writing richer and multi-dimensional. What’s more, many psychologists claim that this exercise is also a great mindful tool for creating calm.
Switch up your POV
If you’re building a story, it can help to change your point of view. This will help make your writing more interesting. Practice this by choosing a scene from your favourite novel and imagining it from a different point of view. It could even be from the point of view of a different character in the same novel. Don’t restrict yourself to people, you can even imagine your favourite literary characters as animals! This will show you how a story can be told in many different ways. Several famous authors swear by this writing exercise to break the monotony and enjoy the writing process.
Try the “stream of consciousness” exercise
The stream of consciousness was used as a literary technique by some of the best modernist writers like Virginia Woolf, James Joyce and William Faulkner. In this exercise, all you have to do is keep writing your thoughts as they come. Don’t worry about them being coherent. Don’t filter out your thoughts either. Just close your eyes, and keep writing what your mind is telling you. The idea is to let your thoughts flow so you can draw out the most interesting ones. The result is free writing that is not bound by any limitations.
Try the C. S. Lewis Exercise for writing descriptively
In 1956, beloved fantasy writer C. S. Lewis shared this rule for writing well in a letter. When you are about to describe something using only adjectives like “fantastic” or “terrible”, try to replace them with vivid descriptions. Express creatively how you want the reader to feel about the thing you are describing. For instance, if you have to describe snow, you would not simply write that snow is white. This would make it appear redundant. Instead, you could replace it with a metaphor or a simile that evokes emotions in the reader. Today, many authors use this technique to add beauty to their writing.
Perfecting any skill requires practise and dedication and writing is no different. Writing exercises are meant to improve writing skills and spark new story ideas. They are a fun and productive way to get you back on track and prevent you from falling into a creative slump. To get your creative juices flowing, try your hands on a writing exercise with Pencil Masterclass. They are designed to bolster your abilities and ignite endless writing ideas. It offers endless creative writing prompts along with writing exercises and writing strategies to get started. Don’t wait, add these mental exercises to your daily workout to become a truly proficient writer.