Thursday, April 26, 2012

W is for Writing Exercises

Unlike real physical exercise, I love writing exercises. And I especially love writing prompts. Those few words or sentence gives me a freedom to write about anything, without my own creative restrictions, precisely because I didn't come up with the writing prompt. Weird, but that works well for me.

I also like coming up with book openers. You know, the way the first couple of sentences look on the first page -- sentences that are supposed to hook you immediately.

I try to do this frequently, just for fun, but I really try to do this on genres that I don't typically write in.

For example:

Murder is tricky. Sometimes, it takes the victim by surprise and other times, the victim knows it's coming from miles away. Kind of like the sound of a train whistle on a train not yet visible. But when Matthew Sasson murdered me, I'd heard that train whistle for months.

-paranormal mystery

I don't write paranormal. But, it would probably be pretty fun. This is a small way for me to be a paranormal writer, without writing a book.

Another example:

Her blond wig was far too big for her face. Her fake tan and giant sunglasses were glaringly obvious as a hasty disguise. But here on the Florida coast, no one seemed to give her appearance a second thought, because Carrie Tran looked just like every other woman there.

-thriller

I don't write thrillers. They aren't my style, and honestly, I haven't read many of them. But, does that matter?
As a writer, it's kind of like being an actor. You should know how to write in different genres, like acting a good guy, bad guy, nerd, jock, etc, because it's fantastic exercise. 

These openers aren't even very good, but they're something to work on and work with. It may seem counterproductive not to focus on your genre, but in the end, these exercises will not only help your writing style and character development, but you might just get a brand new book out of it.

-H

3 comments:

  1. Interesting points - I like having a prompt to work to - it just gives a nudge in the right direction.

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  2. I used to use prompts. Don't know why I stopped because they really were helpful. Writing is so "streaky."

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  3. I'd rather do writing exercises than real exercises ANY day. Great post.

    ScribblesFromJenn
    Congratulations on finishing the A to Z challenge!

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