Monday, June 22, 2015

Soar To New Heights With A Random Word Exercise

To start the week, let's try a Random Word exercise. I will list some words below, one for each day this work week. Start with number 1 today and see where it takes you. Then on to the second one tomorrow and so on. 

The Random Word Exercise is one my online critique group does on a weekly basis. To do the exercise properly, look at the word, then start typing as fast as you can. Write whatever comes into your mind, even if it seems like gibberish. It doesn't have to have any form, or be related, multiple thoughts can come from one word. Or it can take you along one path. There is no right or wrong. Don't hesitate or stop. Keep typing. Continue for a full ten minutes. Set a timer before you begin if it helps. 

You'll have many unrelated thoughts about real things. Or you may start writing the beginning of a fiction story. Or you might just begin with words that rhyme with the word given. Memories from years ago might emerge. Whatever you do, don't stop. Keep on writing no matter how silly it may seem at the time. 

There are days when you get nothing but gibberish, nothing that you can use for a future writing project. But wait! There are also days when a gem of an idea bursts forth, something you can use as the bones of a new story or essay, or even a poem. Several members of my writers group have used their Random Word exercise results to go on to write a full story. You can, too.

You might wonder how the words are selected. Different methods for different people. Some open a book, close their eyes and put a finger on the page. Whatever word that finger lands on is it. Others use a theme, as one person chooses the words for a full month. I did seasons once; another time I used words that all began with the letters fr. If you're doing it on your own, the finger in the book is a good method. This is a great warm-up exercise for any writer.

Here are the five words for this week: 

1. apple

2. elevator

3. silver

4. carnival

5. canine


  1. This is a fabulous exercise! I love the brainstorming without actually brainstorming! It's a mindful, yet mindless activity as you just flow form brain to fingertips!! Thanks for sharing; I'm on this! ♥ Robyn

  2. Robyn--I am always amazed at what comes from the recesses of your mind while doing this exercise. The more you do it, the more you find.