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Creative Writing Exercises
1) Do you know how to keep a secret? When writing a story - whether it is mystery, romance, fantasy or some other genre - you donít want to let the cat out of the bag too soon. Somehow, you need to keep your reader in suspense, you need to keep him sitting on the edge of his chair biting his nails wondering what is going to happen next.
Practice keeping a secret by writing a short story where a secret kept by one person solves everything. It could be something as simple as the location of a pair of scissors or as complicated as the identity of a serial killer. That is left up to you.
2) If you have children, Iím sure youíve read all the fairy tales. Do you have a favorite? There is so much that just isnít said in the fairy tales. Take the story of Snow White. She was loved by her father, but what was her relationship with him like? Did they take walks together? Did he tell her bedtime stories each night?
What about the wicked queen? Did she not give any hint of what she would be like after they were married? Did she try to make friends with Snow White before she became her stepmother?
Pick a fairy tale and rewrite it with a modern day slant to it. Feel free to change the way it ends. When you are done, you may have a story so good that you surprise yourself.
3) Examine a picture of someone you know. Using just the details in the picture, describe that person. Can you tell what kind of person he is just from the picture? Would someone know this person, just from the way you described him, if he was encountered going down the street? From the picture, does it appear as if this person has a story to tell or is involved in some crisis?
4) Take a walk somewhere you will be sure to see footprints. Stop and examine a set of footprints. What can you tell about the person who made them? Can you tell how heavy he was? Was he dragging something along behind him? Did he perhaps have an animal with him? Can you tell if he was running or walking?
Now look at a different set of footprints; compare them with the first set. How are they alike? How are they different?
Now write a story that is focused on a set of footprints, maybe even the same set of you studied.
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