So, you’re a creative writing student and you’ve come up with an idea for a short story, novel, or screenplay. You’re bursting with ideas and you want to try something new. Why not? You’re probably familiar with the term ‘creative writing exercises’ and you’ve no doubt seen them around the place. These are various activities that you can perform to improve your writing and make it more intriguing and original. However, what exactly do creative writing exercises include? Let’s take a trip down memory lane and revisit some of the more traditional activities that you may have seen in writing classrooms and literary circles. What were they and are they still relevant today? Let’s find out.
Short Story Exercises
You may be familiar with the famous ‘Three Acts’ structure. This is a common format for storytelling in theatre and literature, and it can be applied to short stories, too. Essentially, an ‘act’ is a collection of scenes that build upon one another. They generally range from a few pages to a few hours, though there is no strict length restriction. You’ll notice that short stories tend to have a more conventional, straightforward narrative structure. Nevertheless, this is one format that can be very useful and beneficial for aspiring writers looking to expand their repertoire.
When you’re starting out as a writer, it’s a good idea to experiment with different styles and techniques. One of the most effective ways of doing this is through free-writing exercises. In these, you’re given a topic and you’re asked to write freely, without worrying about the quality of your work. Although you may be producing some pretty horrendous stuff at first, this is all part of the learning process. In fact, you may find that some of your early stories are quite clever and intriguing. If this is the case, give them a chance. Who knows? You may even enjoy writing these stories and choose to pursue this as a hobby. After all, it can’t do any harm and it may even improve your craft.
The great thing about these types of exercises is that they allow you to try out different approaches and narrative structures. Sometimes you may write a story that’s entirely linear, and other times you may decide to use more of a stream-of-consciousness technique. By keeping a notebook by your side, jotting down ideas and things you observe around you, you’re able to combine both styles and create something unique and original. This is something that would be very hard to do successfully in a creative writing class. With these exercises, the only limit is your imagination! Remember, when you’re first starting out as a writer, the only objective should be to build your vocabulary and improve your writing style. Ultimately, you should enjoy what you’re writing and want to continue exploring different topics and styles. This is one of the major benefits of these types of exercises.
Another type of creative writing exercise is called ‘rhyming’. In this, you’re given a word or phrase and you’re asked to find as many rhyming words, phrases, or sentences as you can. This can be fun, and it can also help expand your vocabulary. Rhyming is an excellent way to improve your poetic skills as well. You may even decide to perform this activity with a group of friends and compare your creative efforts. This can be a great way to practice and build your vocabulary while also having some good laughs. It’s an easy way to integrate English language with rhythm and poetry. When performing this exercise, it’s important to maintain a healthy mindset. You’re not simply testing your vocabulary, but you’re using your intellect to find words and phrases that rhyme. So, make sure you’re playing fair and maintaining good sportsmanship. This type of exercise can help you build your confidence as a writer, and it can also help you find the rhythm in your writing. Even if you decide to take this hobby up as a profession, you’ll always need to be able to rhyme. It’s an important tool for any writer, in any language.
If you’ve ever read anything by William Shakespeare, you’ll know that he was a master of narrative. This is where his stories unfold in a straightforward fashion, with each scene building upon the next. Unlike the previous types of creative writing exercises, this one is more traditional in nature. As a beginner, you may want to start out with short, simple stories because they’re easy to follow and can be understood by everyone. As you get more experienced, you can start to incorporate more complex plot twists and turns. These will keep your readers engaged and turning the pages, as well as giving you a better understanding of what you’re writing. When performing this type of exercise, it’s important to stick to the facts and avoid making up details. It’s much easier to write an interesting story about something you know about rather than make something up as a cover for the exercise.
Ultimately, these types of writing exercises are simply meant to help you improve your craft and become a better writer. Whether you decide to keep this as a hobby or turn it into a full-time job, these types of exercises will always be relevant and helpful. Plus, who knows? Maybe someday, you’ll even create something that will become a classic in your field and make you famous. This is all part of the journey that each and every writer must undergo.