Monday, March 15, 2010

Exercises For Writers

Practice may be boring, but it's a necessary evil in many things. A basketball player does not run onto the court on game night without plenty of practice time during the week. Nor does a ballet dancer run onstage without hours of practice. Writers also need to practice bits and pieces of the craft so that when they sit down to write a story, they aren't searching for ways to describe the scene. They've done it in the writing exercises every writer should make a part of his/her writing world.
I don't mean that you should try a writing exercise once every few months or even once a month. Make writing exercises a part of your writing time every week, two or three times a week if you can make the time. Note that I said "make" the time. I don't buy the excuse that we are all guilty of using. I don't have time.
We make time for the things we want to do.

There are many writing books which include exercises. My critique group sends out an exercise every week. Or you can google 'writing exercises' and see what you come up with. I guarantee you that it will not be a waste of your time. Do the exercises on a regular basis, and your writing skill will improve.

For a beginning, try the one below that my critique group is doing this week.

Writing Exercise: Describe a food, using all your senses. Observe it visually, of course, but also include texture, smell and taste. Describe it again, but in a way that makes it disgusting: how a big juicey steak, for example, must appear to a vegetarian

1 comment:

  1. It's easy to find an excuse not to write. I've been guilty of the "I don't have time" excuse. I love the exercise. Would you mind if I borrow it for our writer's group? I've had them describe things, but never thought of reversing the description. Great idea.