creative writing exercises

The Hitchhiker

Write a story about three people who are on a road trip together, only to stop off at a gas station and pick up a fourth person whom they don't know. Why did they pick this person up? Where are they taking him/her? What happens?

What I Would Tell My Younger Self

You've been given one-time access to a time machine to visit your younger self. After a brief pause, you know the when and the where, hop in the machine and take off. When there, you chat with your younger self but offer one piece of advice to him/her that you hope will change his/her...

Three’s a Crowd

After months of planning, you and two of your friends pull off a major scam and steal $10 million dollars from a Vegas Casino. Your tracks are completely covered, there's no way they can track it to you guys and you've escaped to a far away country. While you lay in your bed, dreaming...

The Flood That Sparked Your Memory

A dark and heavy storm suddenly takes over your neighborhood, dropping 6 feet of water so quickly that the storm drains can't handle it. The water flooded your street and your basement, ruining many of your things. As you rummage through your stuff, you are filled with memories. Think about your basement and pick...

Lunch Gone Wrong

After arriving at your favorite lunch destination and eating your favorite meal, your waitress rushes to your table. She looks panicked. She grabs you and looks into your eyes, but doesn't say anything. Finally, she turns toward the wait staff, who is all gathered just outside the kitchen, and yells, "We only have 6...

Aunt Edna’s Money

Your wealthy Aunt Edna has died and left you all of her money. At first you're excited, as you've been living paycheck-to-paycheck your whole life, and this newfound money offers you endless possibilities. But, in her will, Aunt Edna left one big catch—and, if you don't do it, all of the money is to...

Olympic Games Unraveled

After four years of training, you've finally made it: To the Olympics. Your sport (fill in the blank) is highly competitive this year. As you take in the scene on your first day of competition, you notice that a member from another country is cheating. What do you do? Write this scene.

A Long, Long Flight

After a hectic day, you are looking forward to a long flight you have planned. It's the first vacation you've taken in two years, so you're extra excited. But when you get on the plane, you get seated next to a person who wants to tell you his/her life story (which you're not in...

Writing tips and writing techniques

4 Tips to Improve Your Writing Instantly

If the “Pro Tips & Techniques” theme of the September 2016 Writer’s Digest sounds a little vague, I’ll fess up: That’s by design. Our most reliable contributors have a way of occasionally pitching outstanding articles that just don’t happen to fit with any of our issue themes. And as I was reviewing a batch...

Writer’s Block

With a book deadline fast approaching and an empty document tormenting you on your laptop, you realize you need a change of scenery to get your work done. You go to the airport and take the next flight out. Your travels take you to the gorgeous country of Ireland. But now you need a...

Love Boat

After a long, hard breakup, you decide to treat yourself and go on a two-week cruise. You get onto the boat, put your bags in your room, and take a stroll around the deck. As you look around you, everyone seems to be in couples and everywhere you look, lovebirds are spending time together....

Surprise on the Doorstep

The doorbell rings. You check the alarm clock and notice it’s way too early for someone to be visiting. You crawl out of the warm bed and scuffle across the house to the front door. You crack it open and no one is there. Upon opening the door, you notice an unmarked package on...

Home Sweet Home

After months of living in a bug-infested apartment, you decide it’s finally time to get a new place. While you’re shopping for a new place to live, you drive past a beautiful Victorian house with a large lawn. A sign in the front says “FOR SALE,” so you decide to call the realtor out...

The Beautiful Voice

You've received a bill in the mail and it's incorrect. There's a phone number to call so you give it a ring. The person who answers has a beautiful voice. After several minutes the issue is resolved, but you can't help wondering who this person is with such a beautiful voice so you take...

Crime Log

Opening up the daily paper, you decide to catch up on the local news. When you check the crime log, you notice a familiar name: yours. The log says you’re wanted for a crime you didn’t commit. Suddenly, you hear three loud knocks on the door, followed by a man yelling, “Police! Open up!”...

Technovision

We all stare at our phones, laptops and televisions more than we probably should. But what happens when the screens have made us go blind? Describe a morning where you’ve lost your sight and are forced to find your way to work without your eyesight. Don’t forget: everyone else is blind, too!

Telling Your Life Story

On the long flight to a foreign country, you wind up telling your seatmate much of your life story. Only it isn’t yours. You’ve always wanted to pretend to be somebody else, just for an hour or two, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. Only now you find yourself falling for your seatmate,...

Post-apocalyptic Wasteland

It’s 50 years in the future, and the world is at war. Luckily, when the nuclear bombs dropped, you had a bomb shelter under your house to hide out in. When your monitors tell you it’s safe to go outside a year later, what do you find? Who is still alive? Have the plants...

Cat Got Your Tongue?

You wake up for work one day, brush your teeth, pack your computer bag and head out the door. But when you walk into your office building and try to say hello to the receptionist, you can’t speak. What’s got your tongue? Can the receptionist speak, or is her voice gone as well?

Angry Doppelgänger

You decide to spend the day enjoying the sunny weather. And that's great, until you see him (or her)—but who? The person looks exactly like you, but you know that you don’t have a twin. And what's this, he (or she) is approaching you—angrily. Who is this, and why are is this person so...

Dear Me

Opening up your lunch box, you expect to find your normal mixture of baby carrots, a slightly-mushed sandwich and a clementine. But today's different. Instead of the food you swore you had packed that morning, there's a mysterious note signed by—yourself? What does it say, and why can't you remember writing it? Perhaps most...

Enter the Void

At first it's like any other day. You wake up, shower, start to brew your morning cup of coffee, and that's when you notice—outside the window, there's nothing there. Just an endless black void. What happened? Where are you? How do you get back to reality?

Running With a Ghost

You start training to run a half-marathon. Things are going well and you've developed a route that you like to run. One day you notice someone peeking out the window of one of the houses you pass, though you think nothing of it. But then the next day the peeper is back again. And...

All in a Days Work

As a doctor for hire you’ve met a fair share of odd folks. Nothing quite like this though: A man in his mid-thirties stands before you, clutching a wound just given to him by another man sprinting down the street. Now the perpetrator trips and lands on his own knife. Screaming for help and...

Olympic Trip

You have been chosen to help carry the Olympic Torch for the 2016 Summer Olympics. It’s finally your turn to carry the Torch and you are so nervous you might throw up. You take the Torch from its previous carrier and start running. As cameras flash and the world watches, you trip and go...