creative writing exercises

Bizarre Family Traditions

Your family has always been a little off when it comes to holiday traditions. You eat tacos on the Fourth of July and hamburgers on Cinco de Mayo. How did this whacky tradition get started?

What Did You Do?

Every morning at 9:00 a.m. sharp, you get a call on your cell phone. The speaker says “I know what you did” and then hangs up. This has been going on for two weeks straight. What did you do and how do you react to these calls?

Night at the Museum

You hide in the museum bathrooms until the building is closed and everyone is gone. What is the first thing you do? Do you touch everything you possibly can or go exploring in the back rooms? Don’t forget to watch out for security guards!

Doomed Love

“I wasn’t planning on this. Falling in love with you was the last thing I wanted. Because I know our time would have to come to end. Yet, here I am, begging you not to turn the page.” Who is the speaker and who is the speaker talking to? Finish the scene.

The Mysterious Call

Your phone rings in the middle of the night. An indiscernible voice speaks: “There is a car waiting for you outside your house. Get inside. You don’t want to ignore this.” Your spouse rolls over, eyes squinting, and says, “Everything okay?” What happens next?

From Random Page to Story

Grab the book, magazine, or newspaper nearest you and open up to a random page. Start your story with the first line at the top of the page and end your story with the last line at the bottom of the page.

Creativity: The X Factor

One of the most popular toys in our household these days is a set of remote control bumper cars. One is red, one is blue, and to win a round of this game, you need to crash into your opponent’s car at just the right spot to eject the little helmeted driver. We acquired...

Rude Awakening

“Get up. That’s right you, with the face. GET UP.” After the boot roughly hits your side you groggily wake up. You remember the bomb, yes the bomb you had to deactivate. That would be your top priority but your captor has a knife and your hands are bound. What do you do next?

Creation Simulator

As you close your eyes you feel as if you’re being lifted. Yes, higher and higher until you decide to open your eyes. You see a vast world before, one new to your eyes. A voice booms out: “This is yours now, craft it well.” How do you shape this world? What inhabits it?...

The Center of Things

Ah the freedom of flight, the weightlessness of free-fall. Doesn’t it feel wonderful? Well it would if you weren’t launching at maximum velocity towards a gaping hole that leads to the center of the earth. Why are you going there? What’s going on?

A Karaoke Love Story

A promotion at work has you head out with coworkers to celebrate. While at the bar, you decide to sing karaoke. As you belt your way through the song (fill in the blank), another member of the crowd starts harmonizing with you. Is it someone you know? Is it not? Either way, this is...

Anyone But Me

You've had a rough day at work. You head home and go straight to bed, mumbling, "I wish I'd wake up tomorrow and be anyone but me," before dozing off. When you wake up in the morning, your dream has come true, as you quickly realize that you are not you—you are someone else...

Private Eye

You're a private investigator who is down on his or her luck and hasn't had a client in months. Suddenly the phone rings. It's a kid. The kid proposes a silly case to you. Normally you wouldn't take such a ridiculous job (from a kid, no less), but you need the work, so you...

April Showers Bring a Murder

Start your story with "April showers bring May flowers, at least, that's what my ______ used to tell me." Then end your story with story with, "And that, officer, is why I had to murder my ______."

It’s You — But It Isn’t

You're a regular commenter on a website about a hobby you are passionate about. You've been posting for years and have made many friends. Suddenly one day, you hop on the site and notice there are several comments from you—but you didn't write them! You attempt to delete them, but you can't. Worse yet,...

Baggage

You start dating a person you met at your local grocery store. The date is going well—you've taken the person to your favorite restaurant (in which you both ordered the same unusual meal) and, it turns out, you both grew up in the same small town. The problem is, when you got for a...

Scavenger Hunt

You're involved in a scavenger hunt—boys versus girls—and you take off to help your team collect every item on the list. The first several items are relatively easy but the last item is very unusual. But, upon reading the last item, you know exactly where to find it. The only problem is that it...

Wizards & Warriors

You're playing a video game called Wizards & Warriors when, suddenly, lighten strikes the house, scaring you and causing you to black out. When you wake up, you're trapped inside the game. The only items you have is a sword, a backpack and a note attached to your shirt that reads, "Beat me and...

Your Family’s Life Depends on It

Your best friend knocks on your door one afternoon. You open it and he or she is dressed in a strange costume. Before you can say anything, your friend hands you a sword and says, "I need your help. Your family's life depends on it." Just then, your friend opens what looks to be...

Your Mom’s Unexpected Story

Your mom is in poor health and you spend extra time at her apartment taking care of her. While getting her out of bed and into her chair one day, she thanks you for all your help. Then she says that she needs to tell you a story about her past, one that you...

Snow Shoveling Showdown

You're outside shoveling your own driveway when you decide, as a kind gesture, to shovel your neighbor's driveway too. Just then a group of teenagers with shovels show up and threaten you, claiming that this is "their turf." What do you do?

Dentist Disaster

You go in for a rather complex dental procedure and the dentist has to put you under in order to complete it. When you wake up, though, you are no longer in the dentist office. You are on a train with a briefcase handcuffed to your wrist. Just as you are soaking in this...

Valentine’s Day Escape Plan

Your are going on a blind date for Valentine's Day. In case the date is a dud, you have your best friend on standby. Your friend is to call you at 9:30 on the dot. If the date is going well, you answer and use the phrase "I already took care of that." If...

Ghostbuster For Hire

You've been out of work for a few months and respond an unusual ad online that reads: "Team seeking full-time associate who isn't afraid of ghosts." They call and tell you to come in. Intrigued (and desperate for work), you go to their office and get hired on the spot. Moments later, there's a...

State of the Union (Writer’s Edition)

After a tough year where overall writing goals were not met and new challenges arose, your office supplies (your computer, pens, paperclips, stapler, three-hole-punch, desk lamp—anything else that could be used to support your writing efforts) have lost some faith in you. You've decided to rally the troops by giving a State of the...