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Writing exercises

(10 Posts)
MrsSnape Sun 19-Oct-08 19:25:44

Does anyone have any advice regarding writing exercises?

One I am going to try was recommended to me on a writing forum.

Visualise your ideal place, your idea of heaven if you like and 'show it' on paper.

Anyone else have any?

janeite Sun 19-Oct-08 19:28:07

Think of a job (actually it works best if you get somebody else to tell you the job).



Write a love poem from the perspective of somebody who does that job.

I did this on a writing course and got "Pathologist"!

MrsSnape Sun 19-Oct-08 19:44:05

Thanks, I'll try that too. By love poem do you mean the love for the job or a love story centered around the job?

I've thought of another one which I might try tonight...

Think of a scene in your favourite movie and show it on paper.

I have an idea for this one, anyone know where I stand in terms of copyright etc if I do this and post it on here for opinions? Just one scene...?

janeite Sun 19-Oct-08 19:46:50

The kind of love poem that a person who did that job might write. Can email/post you the one I did if any use.

MrsSnape Sun 19-Oct-08 19:48:29

Yes thanks, that would be great.

my email address is

faff49 at ho tm ai l dot co dot uk

(sorry for the cryptic address!)

janeite Sun 19-Oct-08 20:08:07

You have mail!

MrsSnape Sun 19-Oct-08 21:58:48

Have just replied.

The poem was brilliant! thanks for sharing it with me.

janeite Sun 19-Oct-08 22:03:26

Thank you!

I did this exercise on a week with the Arvon Foundation; I was there with a group of school pupils, rather than going as a writer myself but I still did all of the tasks.

I used to do a writing course run by the local council (in fact, that's where I met dp!). I heartily recommend classes, as, even if people write different kinds of things to you, it a) ensures you actually write each week, so you've got something to share and b) forces you to edit/improve etc.

I don't attend a class now and hardly ever write anything - stupid, as I really enjoy doing it when I get around to it.

NotQuiteCockney Mon 20-Oct-08 20:15:32

Oh, I can recommend a few exercises - one we did on the OU course was to write a short piece (few hundred words) but without any telling, only showing. So no 'Alfred was tired, and he wondered if the velociraptor had eaten his cat.' It has to be 'Alfred sighed, and his head drooped. He sneaked around the room hissing 'here kitty kitty' and turning his head from side to side.'

The resulting text won't really be usable, but it does help focus the mind on the whole show-don't-tell rule.

NotQuiteCockney Mon 20-Oct-08 20:18:59

Lynda Barry [love] has a new book out called What It Is, which about writing, and creativity, and full of interesting ideas. But I'm kinda overproducing for my current writing course, anyway, so I'm not using it much yet. Looks good, though.

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