Writing Exercises – #1

When you find yourself in a writing slump, it can be helpful to find some writing exercises to help you get back into the habit of writing each day. Especially this past week, I’ve been so busy preparing for midterms that I’ve had very little time to edit my novel or write any new material.

In my previous blog post, you’ll find an outline of my plan to begin editing my WIP. At the very least, I’ve transferred my novel summary to notecards and taped them up on my closet door. At this point in time, its a bit of a mess, but every little step toward perfecting my novel is something to celebrate.

With that said, here’s an update on my revision process: the notecards were color coordinated according to character (pink for Edalene, yellow for India, and orange for Finn). White cards represent general scenes within the plot, and green cards represent new additions to the storyline. Some cards have been shuffled here and there, but overall, a few very necessary green cards have been added thus far. I was able to write a prologue and edit chapter 1 this afternoon.

I’ll continue to keep updating my progress and any tips that I have along the way. However, let’s focus on the piece of advice that I have for you after the past few days that I’ve had.

Writing exercises are easy to come across, whether it be on a website or in a book. One of my favorite books that contains several great exercises for fiction writers is titled, “What If? Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers” by Anne Bernays and Pamela Painter. This book may be a bit older, but it was recommended to me by my 10th grade English teacher, who was a wonderful and trusted mentor to me in my writing process.

As for my favorite website to find writing exercises, I’ve recently utilized reedsy quite a bit. They offer over 100 writing exercises that are categorized and easy to follow.

Check them out here: https://blog.reedsy.com/writing-exercises

Here’s an example of a writing exercise that I was able to complete this morning (courtesy of reedsy): 

But Why? – Keep asking your character’s why

Check out their example by following the link above. My example that applies to “Because of India” is as follows:

Why does Finn visit Eda on the porch one evening? – Because he misses her.

Why does he miss her? – Because they broke up.

Why did they break up? – Because Finn isolated himself from Eda and ended their relationship.

Why did Finn isolate himself? – Because his best friend passed away in a car accident, and he was afraid to express his grief in a healthy way.

Why was he afraid to express his grief in a healthy way? – Because he believed that he was Eda’s “rock” and he didn’t want to burden her.

Even by starting with a simple scene, it’s easy to see how key pieces of information about your character can surface from this activity. There are many other writing exercises on reedsy that relate to character development as well.

Give this writing exercise a try and let me know in the comments below how it helped in the process of writing/editing your WIP! 🙂

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