08 July 2010

50 Excellent Writing Activities to Cultivate Your Creativity and Craft

by Jesse Young

Continued from last week:  If you’re a good writer, you can succeed in any industry, no matter what kind of online degree you have. But even great writers sometimes have trouble organizing their work, polishing up the details, or even picking a cohesive idea to write about. Here are 50 excellent writing exercises to help cultivate your creativity and craft, from brainstorming to beating writer’s block and remembering your motivation.

Part 6 of 7: Editing

Just because you have a draft doesn’t mean you’re finished. These editing exercises will teach you to improve grammar, wording, and even story lines.
  1. Cut out all unnecessary words: If you can imagine the sentence without the word, cut it.
  2. Read out loud: You’ll find spelling, grammar and even logic mistakes more quickly this way.
  3. Move scenes around: If you usually write in chronological order, change scenes around for a more creative plot line and rhythm.
  4. Give each sentence the key word test: To make sure your work is clear and concise, check each sentence for the right key word.
  5. Double check point of view: If your story’s point of view isn’t consistent, it throws off the whole story and tone.
Part 7 of 7: Inspiration

Find more inspiration and motivation when you explore the following writing exercises.
  1. Find out what motivates you: This exercise asks you to create a goal that inspires you and then find four realistic ways to achieve it.
  2. Bring the story to life: Connect yourself to your main character by wearing an accessory or piece of clothing he or she would wear.
  3. Read: Read newspapers, magazines, blogs, books, poems and essays to feed your imagination.
  4. Use one of the seven basic plots of literature: Model a story off of the basic plots commonly used, like man vs. nature, man vs. self, or man vs. the supernatural. Then, choose one of Ronald Tobias’ 20 master plot themes like escape, underdog, temptation or forbidden love.
  5. Journal your dreams: Each morning, write down what you remember from your dreams and use this journal as inspiration for future writing.
  6. Write what you don’t know: Stretch your imagination and challenge yourself to write characters you know nothing about. You’ll improve your research skills this way, too.
  7. Highlight the word "that": Go through your draft highlighting the word "that" every time you use it and try to eliminate it each time.
  8. Change the ending of an existing story: If you change the ending, it changes the whole story. Think about a story line from a TV show, movie or book, change the ending, and then rewrite the story with different characters.
by Jesse Young

To read the entire article go to onlinedegreeprograms.com


    1. It's great to discover these writing exercises! Thanks!

    2. Hi Carrie~

      Great tips! Thanks for sharing these. I will be bookmarking your site. You are a undiscovered diamond.

    3. Ah, thanks, but this article was by Jesse Young :). Still, I'll take the compliment on my good taste in what I post. Thanks!

    4. Thanks for publishing the list of Excellent Activities. If I were still teaching English, I'd use blogs like this instead of a textbook.

      And if 95% of writers can't support themselves by writing, it's probably because of the gnomes. Something should be done.