Getting Started On A Short Story

Having trouble getting started? Try freewriting. The rules are simple: sit down with a pen and paper and write for ten minutes. Don’t stop to think. Don’t let the pen come off the page. This classic exercise is designed to give your subconscious ideas a chance to emerge without being impeded by the censoring “filter” of your conscious mind. Some writers like to keep a notebook near their bed, so they can write immediately upon waking, before the distractions and … Learn More →

Character Description Exercise

Write your own posthumous encyclopedia entry. What is it that you as reporter would highlight about you the person and writer? What unique details would be included? Take the following generic description and re-write it in a way that is unique and compelling. Refer especially to chapters one and two of Kress: John Smith was a tall man. He wore a dark suit that was a little loose. He had light hair and eyes. There was something about him when … Learn More →

Descriptive Writing Exercise

Choose some details from the room you’re sitting in right now and think about how you might describe them in different ways to establish different moods. First of all, make an inventory of what you can see, smell, hear and touch. This first list should be purely objective, using words that simply state what the objects are, and what sense(s) they engage (put each sensory category on a separate piece of paper). For example, if you’re writing on your lunch … Learn More →