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Creative writing Exercises to get your thoughts flowing

Updated on December 29, 2013

Ideas to combat writer's block

Have you got a writer's block? Or are you feeling that you are getting into a bit of a rut with regard your writing?

I am by no means an expert on such things but I thought I would share with you a couple of tips that I have sometimes tried when I have wanted to write and did not know where to start.

Do any of you remember that game when you were a child where a group of you write a line each to make a story? Let me remind you - it goes something like this

Write a Girls name then fold the paper down and pass to your friend...then the friend writes what happened next...and passes it on to the next person who writes what they wore at Halloween and passes it on again etc. At the end you unravel the story and you get something silly like:

Annabel went to her dads office, dressed up as pumpkin and danced on the table until Jamie from class 3 drank all the strawberry milkshake wearing his pyjamas and they all lived happily ever after.

Never done that kind of thing? Oh well maybe it is just me and my childhood friends.

Before you think I have completely lost it - there is a serious side to sharing this childhood game.

This is a prompted story.

A Prompted story is a really good way to get the juices going. I could give prompted sentences to you and if you all wrote them back to me there would be a wide diverse selection of writing that is returned because we are all different..

Give it a go ...Here is an example

You are in bed about to go to sleep when.....

A few moments later you see a light what happens next...

A set of stairs you have never seen before are there....describe them

What do you do next?

An alternative option to this.

You may be thinking, that is all very well but I don't have questions in my head. That is okay an alternative to this style is to grab a magazine and select pics out of it and ramdomly create a story with them. Some of us a vision orientated so this may be easier for some people than others.

Free penning. - Free penning is when you try and start to write something by just picking up your pen ( or typing) anything that comes out of your mind.

I have been in classes where people have tried this and sometimes it is just a straight "READY STEADY GO" kind of scenario. Whilst at other times it might be semi directed. Such as "You have 1 minute to write about a success or failure you have had baking something"

Think of a first...

There are many firsts in our life. The first time you rode a bike on 2 wheels. The first time you recall going to the dentist. The first time you date with someone. The first time you kissed.

You could even choose something like the start of a new job.

Choose a first in your life and then describe it. How did you feel? What was the environment and surroundings like?


Write a short story where each sentence starts with a different letter of the alphabet. (a,b,c,d,e) etc.

What does this make you think of?


A Scottish Picture

Look at the Picture above - The picture above is one I took years ago on a walk in Scotland. What does it make you think of? Hot summer holidays of your youth? Harvest time? Peace? Order? Creation? There are all kinds of things that this may prompt people. The beauty is that we are all different and have different quirky aspects to our nature. We can all look at pictures but get entirely different things from them. You could even select a few photos and use them as your inspiration.

These are just 2 or 3 simple tips that might just help you the next time you are stumbling for words. You may think well that seems silly (I know I thought that at first) but you might just find you surprise yourself.

Hope it helps!

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© 2011 Tricia Ward


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    • profile image

      appersonal 4 years ago

      Great article! I am always in the market for new ideas on creative thinking and writing. I will use each of your ideas. Here is an idea of my own designed to bring out the free flowing nature of our minds own natural creativity. I hope you like it. If you do, give me a thumbs up. Here it is:

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 6 years ago from Georgia

      Hello Tricia, These are great tips. One of my writing classes used the "writing the sentences on a piece of paper and passing it" technique. That was a lot of fun and stories take really interesting turns, sometimes funny, sometimes dark, but always great.Thank you so much for giving some useful tips.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

      A great hub and thanks for sharing.

      Take care;


    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 6 years ago from Illinois

      Good tips here for those times when we need to get our creative juices flowing.

    • mljdgulley354 profile image

      mljdgulley354 6 years ago

      Tricia these are great tips and ones I use sometimes. I have a view of a mountain out my backdoor and it has been a real inspiration to me.