You probably heard of warming-up excercises before working out. It would make sense for writers to do warming-up exercises too. I sometimes do, when I’m stuck or when I’m just not feeling the creative sparks. Just make ridiculous, outlandish lists.
- List 10 characters your OC will never encounter. (E.g. A weremanatee, a nazi radio mechanic, Gaston from Beauty and the Beast, a virgin umbrella collector, a smoothie maker salesman, Hannibal Lector, a Brazilian librarian etc.)
- List 7 ways your breakfast could have gone completely different than it did.
- Your OC has 13 weapons. What are their names? What are their names certainly not?
- The door creaks. What’s behind it? List 9 things. What’s not behind it? List 9 things.
With any answer, try to be as out of the box as possible. Nothing is too ridiculous. You’re stretching your imagination, you’re not writing yet.
If you want new prompts, questions with the words “not” or “never” in them are the best to get the most out of the box answers. I found they make it easier to let go of conventionalities or boundaries.
I also do this whenever I’m stuck in a scene: “tell me what’s not happening next”, and when I list the bad ideas on paper and hence out of my head, there’s more room for the good solutions. I only list the bad options, I don’t write them out.
You can complete any of these exercises in a few minutes. If you feel the creative juices still aren’t flowing as they should, make some more lists. Make them more and more ridiculous. Ridiculous is creative.
I hope this was helpful. Don’t hesitate to ask me any
questions, and happy writing!
for more writing advice, or check out my other writing advice here.
New topics to write advice about are also always welcome.
below the cut, a few people I like and admire and of course, you can be too. If you
like to be added to or removed from the list, let me know.