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Ten Writing Exercises To Stimulate Your Imagination

Updated on January 8, 2014

Has Your Creativity Dried Up Lately?

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How Do You Do It?

I have a great respect for incremental improvement, and I've done that sort of thing in my life, but I've always been attracted to the more revolutionary changes. I don't know why. Because they're harder. They're much more stressful emotionally. And you usually go through a period where everybody tells you that you've completely failed.

Steve Jobs

If you are a writer then sooner or later you are going to hear those five words. How do you sit still all day long and write? Where do you get your ideas from? How do you maintain your sanity? Don’t you dry up eventually? What about writer’s block? Don’t you ever get it?

Well the fact is that most if not all writers go through periods when they have a very hard time giving birth to ideas. They feel that everything they write reads like blah, blah and a healthy helping of blah on top. They feel their writer’s voice has booked a ticket for Tahiti and they don’t know when it is returning home to them. They feel like their twelve year old obnoxious daughter has more creativity in her brain than they do; she must, right, because she is constantly inventing ways to upset you.

So this article is for all of you writers who need a little additive poured into your creative gas tank; ten exercises that will act like battery cables to your defunct imagination. I know because I have used all ten and they worked for my tired old brain, so they come with the Bill Holland seal of approval, personally tested and lovingly passed on to you.

Shall we begin? Put your creative hat on and let’s get busy.

Record a conversation you hear in public
Record a conversation you hear in public | Source

ONE SENTENCE DESCRIPTIONS

Pick five people that you know fairly well and write a one sentence description for each of them. Concentrate on what makes each of them unique when you are writing your descriptions. This will not only help you to write better article and book summaries, but will also narrow your focus so that you can define and describe characters better the next time you feel in the need to write a novel or short story.

JOIN THE CIA

Okay, I’m kidding, but I do want you to do some clandestine work some sunny afternoon. Take a tape recording devise and go to the city park….or a coffee shop….and record the conversations going on around you.

While you are recording their words, write out a narrative description. Set the scene as though you were writing the scene in a novel or short story. This is great practice for both dialog and painting a scene, two important aspects of writing for anyone attempting a novel or screenplay.

WRITE YOUR BIOGRAPHY

Limit yourself to 500 words and do not write an autobiography. I want you to interview yourself and find out the key events of your life.

Then put it all together in a succinct biography of this new person you just met. This teaches you to delve deeply into a character and also helps you to cut out the superfluous crap and write tighter paragraphs.

Keep a diary about your main character
Keep a diary about your main character | Source

SPEAKING OF SUPERFLOUS CRAP

Write a 300 word mini-article about some scene outside. It makes no difference what you are writing about, but you may not use any adjectives or adverbs in your description. Not one single “very” or “beautiful” or “lovely” can be used.

Adjectives and adverbs are quite useful, but they can also become crutches. Doing this exercise will help you to learn the importance of the words we choose; using the correct verbs and nouns will help to enrich your writing.

FIND INSPIRATION IN A MAGAZINE OR NEWSPAPER

Quickly scan…and I do mean quickly…a magazine or newspaper and find an article that interests you. Now use that article as the basis for a story or a scene in a story.

In other words, let’s say you are scanning and you come across an article about Jennifer Hudson changing her hair color to purple. Take that information and write a scene or short story with that “hair change” as the central theme. Don’t tell me you can’t do it; find a way!

DELVE INTO YOUR MAIN CHARACTER

Start a diary about the main character in your unfinished novel. I want you to make a diary entry every day for two weeks. Get into this character. Learn him or her better. Have fun with this and you just might learn some details about your leading man/lady that you never knew before.

Go back to your childhood
Go back to your childhood | Source

CHANGING VOICE

Find a short story you wrote way back when and re-write it using a different voice. In other words, if you wrote the story in first person then this time around write it in third person. You just might be surprised how much it changes the impact of the story….and….you just might find you enjoy writing in that new voice.

PICK YOUR FAVORITE AUTHOR

Go ahead, go to your bookshelves and pull down a book by your favorite author. Now bring it back to your computer and open it up. Pick out a paragraph that you really like in that book….and re-write it in your own words. Steinbeck, Hemingway, Pluto or Plutarch, makes no difference, just randomly choose a paragraph, capture the central meaning of that paragraph, and then write it in your own words using your own writer’s voice and style.

Why? Because I told you to! LOL

BACK TO CHILDHOOD WE GO

Think back to when you were a child and choose one event that happened to you. Good or bad, just choose one. Now think about the setting….where it happened…how it happened…why it happened. Now re-write that childhood scene as though it were a scene in your new book, and I want you to pay close attention to the five senses. Sight, smell, touch, hearing and taste….incorporate all the senses into the scene you write.

SHALL WE ARGUE?

Sure, why not!

Not really, but I do want you to remember an argument you once had, whether it be with a friend or a family member. Remember the specifics of that argument, what caused it, where it happened, what was the outcome.

Now re-write that scene from the viewpoint of the other person. Remembering how you saw the event is easy; it is not so easy seeing it through the eyes of the person you argued with. Try it! I think you are going to gain an interesting perspective.

Will You Try At Least One Of These Suggestions?

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Now That Was Fun, Wasn’t It?

Well I certainly hope it was fun, and if not fun at least it was helpful in kick-starting your imagination and killing your writer’s block.

These exercises will serve one other purpose and I think it is an important one: they will help you to expand and grow as a writer. I firmly believe that one of the worst things that can happen to any writer is that they become stagnant. In a moment of truthfulness I can tell you that my biggest fear is that I will become a poor imitation of the writer I once was….I will become a clone of Bill Holland.

In other words, I will stop growing as a writer and just continue to pour out the same old stuff that I did a year ago.

I have higher expectations for myself as a writer. You, hopefully, have higher expectations for yourself as a writer. Stagnation is a slow and cruel death for a writer, and I don’t know about you but I’m not ready to die yet.

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Efficient, that is a common refrain. Go for a walk; exercise; heck, listen to some music. Do anything but think about those ideas. The only way out of the desert is.....by camel? LOL

    • Efficient Admin profile image

      Efficient Admin 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      At this time, and hopefully this too shall pass, I have quite a few hubs in DRAFT mode waiting to be written, but can't seem to finish them, i.e. my brain seems like a dry desert. I guess that is what they call writer's block. I have ideas for topics but they don't always formulate into hubs.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome, Dim, and thank you. Now get some sleep. :)

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 3 years ago from Great Britain

      I knew if l came to your page l would find something to help me.

      Thank you for this great article.

      It's 2.45.a.m. at the moment so l shall go sleep on it and tommorrow, read it again and start trying out your tips.

      Thank you for your comment to "Why am l hollow"

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Deb! I always appreciate you visiting.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Well said about a premature death. The exercises are wonderful and concise. Thanks again for helping.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, Happy Monday to you as well and it's good that you had a refreshing weekend away from us. :) I take all weekends off now and feel quite good come Monday.

      As for the exercises, sometimes the simplest and most obvious are the best...changing the voice is one of those few think about. We become quite accustomed to doing it the same way all the time.

      Thank you, Ann, and have a wonderful remainder of the week.

      bill

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Every single one of these suggestions made me remember something from my past or made me smile at doing such an exercise now ; the latter regarding writing a short description of people I know! No adjectives nor adverbs is a great discipline, in fact giving oneself restrictions of any sort makes for tighter, crisper prose.

      I've often used newspapers for ideas with my students. Not long ago I found an account of a childhood experience written when I was in college; it brought back the emotions of the incident as clearly as if it had just happened. I need to go back to such things and write afresh or with a 'different voice' as you suggest - that's an idea I hadn't come across, astonishingly as it seems so obvious!

      Thanks for this - it freshens the mind and clears the writer's block. I'll be revisiting a few old 'bits and pieces' left in the dusty drawers of my computer.

      Catching up on hubpages after a delightful weekend away at a family wedding!

      Happy Monday evening to you, bill! Ann

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Love it! :)

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      dragonflycolor 3 years ago

      Will do!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      dragonflycolor, I would pay to see you sleuthing in your trench coat. Take pictures please. LOL Thank you for the visual.

    • profile image

      dragonflycolor 3 years ago

      I will be doing the CIA exercise tomorrow. I'll even wear sunglasses and a trench coat, staying as still as a statute. It will be interesting to see and hear what happens. Thanks, Billy!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nadine, the lack of time is a common refrain for writers. We all have lives to live and families to spend time with....this is a touch gig my friend. I wish I could give you the time you need. Best wishes and thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alicia, I hope so...thanks as always for stopping by my loyal friend.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      You truly inspire me. The problem I have is lack of time. I have several hubs on my computer ready to be published, but now I have to prepare for radio interview tomorrow and today we have to meet a visiting author. I've bookmarked this hub so I can do one or two of your great suggestions. Not that I do not have any inspiration, I have so many that I need to get grounded in order to manage my day. Thanks Billy

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      These are interesting ideas, Bill. Thank you for sharing them. I'm sure they'll be useful for me!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Exactly Sheila! Writing a novel is not that hard; writing a great novel is a bit tougher, but we all can't be great now can we? :) Thanks for your thoughts and have a great weekend.

    • profile image

      sheilamyers 3 years ago

      I've never thought about using these as ways to get my own creative juices flowing, but I've suggested some of them to people who are new to writing. When they tell me they want to wrote a novel and don't even know if they can write a short story, I tell them to start with a couple of pages using the things you mentioned. Then they can choose one of those and build on it to create a longer story.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well Mary I'm quite happy you are back. I'm ready for another Academy Awards hub any old time you can write one. :)

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      So many great ideas. No stagnation here for sure. Hmm, delve into my own personality; remember that argument with Sr. Mary I Can't Tell. So many great ideas here Bill. I'm finally back on track after a short hiatus and you've given me good ideas to start with!

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you vkwok.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael, it's good to see you. I'm glad I could be of a little assistance. Good luck with those stories.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 3 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks for the great tips, Bill!

    • cleaner3 profile image

      cleaner3 3 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

      thanks Bill .. need some thing to kick me in the butt.. I am currently writing three stories and need a little help.. look to you as usual to help me out .. thanks for a great article..

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kim, welcome back and of course I have missed you. We are a family here, and when one goes missing for awhile it is very noticeable. I hope you are well my friend...thank you!

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm so happy to hear that Dora. Good luck and I hope you enjoy them. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DDE, I agree completely. That is why I don't write on weekends any longer.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tyleck, thank you very much. I appreciate the words of support.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure Doc; I hope good things come from this for you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Doc, my goodness, thank you for so many visits today. I do appreciate it.

    • ocfireflies profile image

      ocfireflies 3 years ago from North Carolina

      Dear Bill,

      I hope you have missed me. I have sure missed you and your timeless hubs. Still dealing with treatments, but have convinced one and all that I prefer to complete them as an out-patient. I love all of the ideas you present in this hub and will be trying them out as energy allows.

      Many Blessings,

      Kim

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      These are all great assignments. I have picked five that I really will do. Thank you.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Great hub after my break from writing I feel so much better to start writing again. Ideas come flowing once a writer is relaxed and focused on their thoughts.

    • Tyleck Bladestorm profile image

      Tyleck Bladestorm 3 years ago

      The suggestions that you offer are rooted in sound advice and sing loudly with reason. I thought it was very well presented and allows your reader to easily pick a method and try it out for themselves, great job!

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 3 years ago

      I'm glad that I read this because today for some reason, I wanted to write but couldn't think of any good topics to write on. I'm glad that I read this. Thanks Bill.

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 3 years ago

      These are very good writing exercises. I think I can try at least one or more on this list. voted up & awesome. going to bookmark this. thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Chitrangada, I hope you do try the public place. There are some wonderful conversations going on around us in public; if nothing else, it will definitely help you to visualize a scene. Thank you for the visit.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Heidi, I'm still waiting for my first dry spell. I'll let you know when it happens. Hopefully soon; I could use a rest. :) Thanks for being here.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, I hadn't thought about Obama but that's a valid point. LOL I think you are brave enough. I also think you are smart enough not to do it. :) Thank you dear friend and Thursday will be here shortly.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Genna, I love it when someone says it is now their favorite...thank you! I build upon childhood memories all the time. In fact, I'm amazed more writers don't do it.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      These suggestions are so helpful and I am definitely going to try all of them. I particularly want to try, going at a public place, or coffee shop and if not record, try writing the scene and develop the story thereafter.

      Thanks for these tips!

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Usually I have so much on my creative plate that I can't keep up. But the holidays have been a dry spell. Working on a bunch of business issues and a head cold didn't help. Some fun ideas to try here. Thanks, buddy!

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Most of these ideas I know I can use. I can't wait to try the paragraph from a favourite author, I guess I'm not nearly brave enough to go public equipped for a little spying. Look what happened when Obama tried it with the Germans. :) However, I'm game for everything else. Another winner.

      Jodah, I loved that comment also. Should have taken him out for a free meal first. Have a great Thursday Bill...I think it's Thursday?

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Bill, this is now one of my favorite hubs; chock full of wonderful and practical ideas. One of my favorites is the “back to childhood we go,” for all the reasons you have mentioned. I use this, or something that happened in the past, some experience or sense memory, and then build a story around it – either recounting a true story, or creating a fictional story based on one event. I loved this hub, Billy. Thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      John, I'd fire the interviewer. Obviously he doesn't know what he's doing. LOL Great line my friend; thanks for the laugh.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hey Bill. I set up the interview, but it didn't go as planned. The subject didn't like the first couple of questions, said, "I don't have to put up with this shit!" and walked out.....what do I do now, any suggestions?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Joelle, I love your comments. Great project for kids and I can see how that would be very popular. As for seeing projects in your mind...I love that description. I will get an idea and then I walk away from it and let it percolate in my brain...when it is done brewing I pour it out in words. I love the creative process.

      Thanks for a great comment.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Denise, that is a great approach and thanks for sharing it. I am quite amazed when I go back and read some of my earlier stuff. It doesn't even appear that I wrote it. My style has changed drastically in two years. It seems that our writer's voice keeps changing with time as we perfect our craft.

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Great suggestions to help stimulate the imagination! I love your suggestion "Join the CIA"; I must say that if I go in a coffee shop I often have something to read but than I can't help myselft to observe people around me and sometimes people talk so loudly that their conversation can be quite a source for the imagination.... or not ;-)

      I love also the biography. When I was a teacher, one of the project was for each student to write a one page biography, typed it on the computer and then I created a "year book" for the end of the school year. The kids just loved this project and read through the little book with all the biographies of each other. I think for them it was a way to learn about themselves (because they had to stop and think) and discover some of the hobbies and preferences of the other students.

      Before I started my own website, my husband asked me if I was sure I would have enough ideas to fill it up. When I had a list of more than 100 projects he agreed with me that I could indeed have enough material to have something valuable :-) But my projects come first in images and usually in 3D in my mind.... and then I write about it. It's a little bit different from other writers... but it's fun!

      Have a nice evening!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Brian, if you could get your brain to book a ticket for your body as well then that would be a great deal. LOL I love the creative process and I know you do as well. Thanks for the laugh.

    • Brian Prickril profile image

      Brian Prickril 3 years ago from Savannah, GA

      Bill, some days I feel like my brain has booked a ticket to Tahiti without so much as a Dear John letter on the nightstand. I'm a big fan of creative exercises. Not only do they keep you sharp, but you never know what might grow from the seeds.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      There have been moments when I have sat down to write and don't know what to say, that is when I go back and read some of my old hubs and see how far I have come. Each time I publish one, I go back and look at an old one and see what I can do with it. If it is hopeless, I'll delete it. Sometimes, I combine some that seem to go well together. It also gives me incentive to look around me and see what is happening in the world. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Monis, I love that quote too. I would have enjoyed talking to that man.

      Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      cmoneyspinner, you can stop by and leave your private thoughts any old time. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DrBill, that's exactly what this is....a simple reminder of things most of us have known but possibly forgotten. Glad you liked it and thank you.

    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 3 years ago

      Oh, you are good Bill - yes you are! :-) Great article, and I absolutely love Steve Job's words...

    • cmoneyspinner1tf profile image

      Treathyl FOX 3 years ago from Austin, Texas

      Yes sir Mr. billybuc - I knew that. I just wanted to publicly record my private thoughts on that particular matter and your HUB's comments section seem to be a perfect place for it! ;-) :) Voted Up!

    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image

      William Leverne Smith 3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Another great set of reminders. I've used most of them, from time to time, and felt better after each experience. Thanks for this useful hub! ;-)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      And there, Alan, is a great example of working our craft and never giving up. I have cautioned writers over and over again never to throw away work of old, to always hold onto it and re-work it if necessary. You just proved the value in doing that...and...in changing voice....well done my friend and thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glad to hear it, Ruby. I hope you have fun with these and as always, thanks for being so loyal and supportive.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh, I didn't think you were being flippant, cmoneyspinner....it's a valid question. The answer lies in the gray areas of law. When out in public, in a public place, privacy laws leave much to be desired. It is presumed by the law that the word "public" overrides many of the privacy laws that are in place. It is the same reason why photographers can take pictures of movie stars when they are walking around in public.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      TomRy, thanks for the recommendation. I'll look it up.

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan R Lancaster 3 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      Clever stuff, Bill. A long time ago I wrote a book I titled 'LANDRAVAGER' (after Harald Sigurdsson's raven banner).

      It was way too short, stilted and a hotch-potch of disparate ideas that didn't work together. I passed it to a colIeague who took it to took it to the books editor at The Telegraph. It was a long time coming back to me with a negative reaction. I took it to an agent in Museum Street, WC1 (near the British Museum, no less). He said re-write it, and a lot longer. I didn't and it finished up being plonked in a bin. Didn't fancy doing it all again on the typewriter with all that paper waste (I'd already gone through half a ream to get 300-odd pages and a full bin with writer's cramp).

      When laptops came in so did the 'spark'. You can play about with it on a laptop, take it on holiday. It's not as noisy as a typewriter and you don't get banging on the wall from next door.

      'LANDRAVAGER' was re-born as being told by one man in the first person as 'RAVENFEAST', instead of in the third person about three men and from the point of view as a defender, a kinsman of King Harold, and as an on-going saga. All thanks to an interview in a paper with James Blunt.

      Book four coming up next, and book five in progress with Ivar Ulfsson still in fighting spirit, still a man wanted by the duke-king and his brother, still pursued by the spay-wife Braenda.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I know what i will be doing soon, writing exercise will be fun with your useful suggestions. Changing voice is an intriguing idea. Thank's again Bill.

    • cmoneyspinner1tf profile image

      Treathyl FOX 3 years ago from Austin, Texas

      UM??? I know that one should not expect privacy in public places like city parks and elsewhere, but unless you are working for the FBI, CIA, NSA, or one of those kinds of “law enforcement agencies” - isn't it illegal to tape record people's conversations without them knowing it?

      I mean … even when the police or investigators do it there's something or other about them not being able to use the info as "evidence" in a court of law. But that's no biggie. Because when you're trying to catch a bad guy, you don't want to get distracted by the ethical implications of questionable means of information and intelligence gathering and have to answer for blatant violations of laws about privacy and a person's human rights. Sumthin like that?

      My comments may sound flippant but my question is for real.

      - Is it legal to record private conversations of people spoken in public places without their knowledge, understanding and permission or approval?

    • TomRy profile image

      TomRy 3 years ago from USA

      Thanks Billy, great information

      A great book that has worked for me is the War of Art by Steven Pressfield

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      watergeek, what a great suggestion and one I had not considered...duh! LOL Thank you for sharing that idea...hopefully others will read it in the comment section.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzanne, it challenges us all. We are all used to using adverbs and adjectives...sometimes that means our choice of nouns and verbs suffers. Thanks for your thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glad to hear it MG...thank you for stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I will indeed, Lifegate, and I thank you for the visit.

    • watergeek profile image

      watergeek 3 years ago from Pasadena CA

      Arguments are great fodder for nonfiction writing. When I got tired of my siblings arguing with me, I first stopped sharing myself (not a good option), and then started writing out my point of view, giving all the facts my siblings didn't want to hear. This deals directly with what you said above about controversy being an attractant to readers. And it doesn't have to be so hard to write.

      The best controversies for writers are the arguments they've had with birth family members. Those are areas in which each has grown differently. The article would cover the writer's opinion and give the set of facts the family shut out, knowing that others out there in the reading world, who are growing in the same direction, can use it to bolster their own points of view.

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 3 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      Some great ideas here. I like the idea of writing about a scene without using "lovely" or "beautiful". It would challenge me a bit! Voted useful.

    • MG Singh profile image

      MG Singh 3 years ago from Singapore

      That's a great post Billy. Enjoyed it

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Eddy. I am having a great day and I wish the same for you and your evening.

      love,

      billy

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Thanks Bill,

      More great stuff and easy to incorporate into a practical plan. That's the beauty of it. Keep in comin'!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      Another great lesson Billy my dear friend.

      Voting up ,across and sharing for sure.

      Have a great day.

      Eddy.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, I'm like that as well. I don't understand writer's block...my biggest problem is getting it all on paper before I die. Sheez, there is never enough time, buddy! Have a great one and thanks.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ryem, we all fall into those funks at times. We just have to work out way out of them. Hopefully these exercises will help you next time. Thanks for the visit.

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      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I reckon if they declared me dead and put me six foot under I could still write about the worms and decay. There is just too much going on in this world and a whole lot more in my head --- but this great hub helped me organize some of them crazy thoughts. thanks

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      Ryem 3 years ago from Maryland

      On Monday night, I fell into this trap where I couldn't generate any ideas and I felt like everything I began to write was horrible. I drove myself crazy for several hours because I had an article due that Tuesday afternoon. This hub would have saved me a ton of agony! I'm bookmarking it to keep it close by!!! Thanks : )

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kim, dialogue is very hard for me so I'm constantly using this exercise. Maybe one day it will come easier for me. Thanks for the visit.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lizzy, they say it works. My biggest problem is turning off my stream-of-consciousness once it starts. LOL Thanks for stopping by Dynamo!

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      இڿڰۣ-- кιмвєяℓєу 3 years ago from Niagara Region, Canada

      These are great suggestions, especially the exercise having to do with dialogue. I have no problem being a secret agent, my version though being the CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) and going undercover. Dialogue can be difficult to master and this idea gives us a slew of material to choose from! Thanks for the advice. This is something I need to try.

      Kim

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      Liz Davis 3 years ago from Hudson, FL

      I'm working my way through The Artist's Way and one of the main exercises throughout the book is morning pages. You write three pages of whatever comes to mind--a stream-of-consciousness sort of thing--every morning before your day begins. It's supposed to release the blocks that keep creativity from flowing.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good morning Faith! You are here early today. No work? Good to have you; do you want a donut while we chat? :)

      Good for you my friend. Fiction is a great way to unleash the imagination. I hope you enjoyed the experiment, and I hope you are having a great day. Thank you and blessings always.

      bill

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      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Hi Dear Bill, I just stretched my imagination by trying my hand once again at writing a fiction piece and it was great fun to try something out of my norm. It certainly stimulated my imagination! Love your ideas here. Blessings, Faith Reaper

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      John, LOL....that gave me a laugh this morning. Good luck with that interview and thank you.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Melissa, I remember teaching in Alaska; they wouldn't call of school unless it hit minus 40 degrees.....unbelievable. I'll let you have that. I'm fine where I am. Thanks for being here my friend and good luck when you try some of these.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I'm glad you liked them. As if you didn't have enough to do already, right? LOL Thanks dear lady.

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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Great exercises Bill. Most quite challenging but definitely doable. I think I'll start by interviewing myself. That should be interesting, more so because I'm not going to tell myself the questions I'm going to ask..haha.

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      Melissa Propp 3 years ago from Minnesota

      These are some awesome suggestions...I definitely will be trying at least a couple of these--now I just have to decide which one! Thanks as always for sharing your ideas with us. And yes, I'm trying to stay warm in this frozen tundra I call home. Its -10 and that was warm enough to finally send the kids back to school. Good bye Polar Vortex! :)

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      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      These are very creative ideas, Bill. They each present their own challenges. l loved the guy in the second video. What a raconteur!

      Thanx for the suggestions. Another one for the Bill's Writing Tips file!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey Marissa, it's nice to have you visit. A desert you say? Well your March vacation is right around the corner. Hang in there and you'll be relaxing soon.

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      Marissa D. Carnahan 3 years ago from Nevada

      Bill, this is awesome! I liked the tape recording idea, however I'm not sure I would be stealthy enough to get away with it! Also, my brain is a desert right now! But this article got some ideas flowing. Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Donna, that is pretty amazing. Great minds, right? Tension between characters is a tough one. I run into that myself. in fact, I already know the changes I have to make to my novel when it comes time for the 2nd draft. Good luck with yours and thank you.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol...LOL...I never thought of that when I titled this....too funny. Maybe I should add a few physical exercises to keep everyone happy. LOL Thanks for the laugh my friend.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, sometimes all we need is a little rest and break from writing. I know taking weekends off is a key for me and my creativity. Thanks as always my friend and have a great day.

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      Donna Brown 3 years ago from Alton, Missouri

      What is amazing about this hub is that I wrote a blog post on this subject this morning as well. Even more amazing is that we took the same subject and wrote two very different ways of dealing with it. After reading this, I think I will try one of your suggestions and try having one of my main characters journal for a couple of weeks. I'm also having problems with creating tension between two main characters so I am going to work on the idea of creating arguments between these two characters. I never have problems with getting words on paper, I'm certain that part of the reason is that I read suggestions like you have here and then I apply them. Thanks for the tips, Bill!

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      carol stanley 3 years ago from Arizona

      I am exhausted...all this work...Lots of food for thought here. I thought maybe you were going to suggest jogging, biking or another type of exercise. Great hub and one writers need to follow.

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      Janine Huldie 3 years ago from New York, New York

      I totally think taking time off the holidays helped, because I was seriously starting to lose my inspiration, but since I did I have had so many ideas of all I want to share and each day I find something new now. But I totally pinned your article, because if I ever do find myself here again (which is always a possibility), I will definitely take your advice here. Thanks Bill and have a wonderful Wednesday now!