Writing exercises

We need to write about Alex

This exercise helps you practice your scene setting, dialogue and monologue writing skills. It has been designed to challenge the way you write as writers naturally prefer to write mostly using one of the three forms, frequently leaving the other two partially unexplored.

 

The exercise will take a total of 25 minutes writing and 3-5 minutes reading.

Have fun and do post your writing and thoughts in the comments section. I would love to hear what you thought!

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1. Pick a number from 3 to 100.
2. Pick a country or a city.
3. Pick an object (something real, tangible, not an abstract concept)

Let’s meet your character Alex. They can be anyone and anything. Their age is the number you picked. The place they grew up in is the country/city you chose. And your object of choice represents the character quirk of your Alex.

Now, come up with a profile of your Alex. Write about their physical characteristics, how their quirk affects them and maybe how others perceive them. But use no dialogue, only descriptive speech.

Write without stopping for 5 minutes.

4. Pick any colour.
5. Now pick a famous person or a character.

The colour you picked represents an emotion. Look at the table below and find the meaning of your colour.

Red Anger Orange Optimism
Yellow Caution Light green Content
Green blue Relaxation Dark green Jealousy
Dark blue Sadness Light blue Hope
Blue purple Tiredness Pink purple Compassion
Pink Love Brown Comfort
Grey Hopelessness Black Power
Other warm colour Curiosity Other cold colour Paranoia

Your Alex and the famous person you picked are having a conversation somehow related to your Alex’ quirk. The emotion you have is the undertone of the dialogue and has to be present in the way the two characters interact. Write only in direct speech, avoid any descriptive text.

Write without stopping for 5 minutes.

6. Return to the number you picked in the beginning.

If you picked an even number, after the conversation with the celebrity character, your Alex finds out they have a deadly disease. If your number was even, your Alex finds out they won the jackpot from the lottery. How do they react and what happens next? Write an internal monologue about this. Do not use direct speech or descriptive scene setting type of text. Use the first person.

Write without stopping for 5 minutes.

7. Look back at the three pieces of text you wrote.

Try to link them all together into one coherent story. Cut, add, edit freely.

Do this without stopping for 10 minutes.

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This is the end of this exercise. I hope you enjoyed it and I hope it sparked some creativity in you and hopefully gave you some ideas for future projects.

I would love to read your story so please leave it down in the comments or link me to your blog.

Feel free to use this exercise in your writing group.

P.S. My Alex is a fourteen-year-old candle addict from Coventry. She loves burning candles despite her mum not allowing her to. Born with a silver spoon, she is the only daughter of a rich family. She finds out that Beyoncé has a special golden candle she uses in every performance and wishes to take it for herself. Alex gets into an argument with Beyoncé sparked from jealousy. Alex later finds out she has won the lottery. She thinks about buying her own candle-making factory and finally breaking free from the influence of her mother.

As you can see, the results are random but this is what I like about writing exercises. You never know what will pop up on the page. 🙂

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