creative writing exercises

Worst Memoir Opening Line

You've been tasked with ghostwriting a memoir for an extremely unusual person. You come up with many opening lines to the book, but one of them you write as a joke just to amuse yourself at how absurd the person's story is. But now that person wants you to use that line. Share it...

New Year’s Resolutions for 2017

What are your New Year's resolutions for 2017? Post them here and then at the end of the year, I'll feature this in the newsletter and ask you to check in to see which ones you've accomplished and reflect on your writing year.

Rudolph’s Revenge

After years of teasing and name-calling, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer has finally had it. Write a strongly-worded letter to all the other reindeer from Rudolph, allowing him to air his grievances and announce that he is quitting to join (fill in the blank).

Steps Challenge

In an effort to improve the health of the office, your company has issued a steps challenge—who can take the most steps in a week. The winner gets a free trip to the Bahamas (something you are determined to win). It’s come down to the final day and it’s between you and one other...

Smartphoney

After weeks of secret detective work, partners Barbara and Nolan are on the verge of cracking the case. They’ve been posing as employees at a high-profile financial firm named MoneyMakers LLC., trying to prove that the CEO named (fill in the blank) has been ripping customers off. After hearing him say incriminating things into...

Coupon Cutter

You’ve been an extreme coupon cutter for years, to the point where you have gained national recognition for it. But you’ve developed a rival coupon-er named (fill in the blank). He/she has challenged you to an extreme coupon-off, with a list of specific groceries, a budget and only one day to see who can...

Revolution Radio

You’re a local disc jokey with a morning radio program. On your show you often take phone calls from commuters to talk about music and celebrity gossip, but on this particular morning you pick up a caller who says he’s going jump off the top of your building unless you play every song he...

Headless Halloween

You and two of your friends are working at a Halloween haunted house. You each get into costume, representing scary creatures. On the first night, hundreds come through the house. You scare them over and over again. As you jump out to scare one of the people, you hear her scream and then feel...

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...