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4+ Creative Writing Exercises to Improve Your Prose

June 6, 2023

4+ Creative Writing Exercises to Improve Your Prose

If you’re a writer, chances are you’ve heard the same old advice about how to improve your writing. It can be pretty boring stuff, like reading more books or writing every day. But what if there were fun ways to level up your writing skills? 

Well, there are! Here are some creative writing exercises to help you become an even better writer.

What Are the 8 Types of Creative Writing?

Creative writing is an art form found in many facets of life. It can range from the professional to the purely personal, depending on the project and intention behind it:

  • There are eight major types of creative writing: short stories, novels, plays and screenplays, poetry, essays and articles, content writing, song lyrics, and speeches. 
  • Short stories and novels focus on characters in a narrative world. 
  • Plays and screenplays are a more visual medium, telling their story through dialogue and action.
  • Poetry can be concrete or abstract but always focuses on conveying emotion in a succinct form.
  • Essays and articles require precise research to provide objective information that informs readers on various topics. 
  • Content writing uses persuasive language to encourage others to take action. 
  • Song lyrics strive to capture various feelings while appealing to broader audiences with clever rhymes or metaphors, while speeches aim to motivate or influence an audience through the use of powerful rhetoric. 

Creative writing has something for everyone – try exploring all eight kinds for yourself!

Still not sure if you have a good grasp on the different types of creative writing? Why not sign up for lessons? This is the best way to build your skills as a writer – and find the inspiration you need to start churning out the next masterpiece. Learn more by watching the video below:

Best Creative Writing Exercises for Beginners

Staring down a blank page? Getting your creativity flowing is often the most difficult part of the entire writing process. It can be so daunting for some would-be writers that they give up entirely! So what can you do to avoid that spiral of creative mishaps? Try out one of the following tried-and-true creative writing exercises – you might be surprised how much they can help!

Use a Writing Prompt

Many times, the problem for writers is thinking up a topic to focus on. You may know what type of story you want to write, but not the details. Other times, you might not even be that far. In this case, many writers use writing prompts.

Using prompts is one of the most common creative writing exercises because it gives you the bare bones of an idea to simply get you started, and you can take that idea in any direction that you wish. This eliminates that blank-page problem that can be so intimidating. Writer’s Digest has some great prompts to explore!

Keep a Journal

Keeping a journal is another one of the best creative writing exercises to try! When you have a journal, it can motivate you to write every day, without any pressure about the content of that writing. When you’re comfortable recording your thoughts and feelings on a daily basis, transitioning those into plotlines or dialogue can seem far easier. If you don’t have much experience with a journal, don’t worry too much – there is no right or wrong method. Just sit down daily and write whatever comes to mind, and keep your observations honest and personal.

Expand On Your Own Experience

There’s a good reason the old writing cliche of “writing what you know” is always passed on to new writers. When you write what you know, you’re approaching the topic with plenty of experience, insight, and passion. You can then expand those experiences into creative works simply by ramping them up in your imagination. When you go on vacation, for example, imagine possible scenarios of what could happen along the way. Or, imagine the worst case scenario and how you would survive it. Apply these expansive thoughts to your experiences and you may come away with tons of potential story ideas!

Change a Story

Another way to get yourself in the creative mindset is to think about stories that you love and then figure out how you would change them for the better. How could you change the ending of a great story to make it even more memorable? What characters could you add to a story to give it comic relief? What changes could you make to classic novels to make them more relatable to modern audiences?

Some writers like to start with a story and make subtle changes to see how they affect the outcome. You could also make changes to it until it is unrecognizable from the original story! This is one of the creative writing exercises that can lead to a completely original story. Keep on writing, and you never know what you’ll come up with next.

Quick Creative Writing Exercises

For many of us, writing can be a daunting task. Whether you’re a fiction writer, poet, or playwright, there are times when you just don’t have the energy or motivation to write. But what if we told you that you could get creative in just 10 minutes? It’s true! 

Here are some 10 minute creative writing exercises and even 5 minute creative writing exercises to get your creative juices flowing. 

Exercise 1: Pick an Object and Go With it! 

This exercise is great for jumpstarting your creativity. Take any object—a pencil, a book, your laptop—and let it inspire your writing. Start by writing down five words that describe the object and then go from there. What kind of story does this object inspire? What does it mean to you? How does it make you feel? This exercise is all about exploring unexpected connections between objects and stories. 

Exercise 2: Write with Your Non-Dominant Hand 

Another way to get your creative juices flowing is to write with your non-dominant hand. Don’t worry if it looks like chicken scratch—the point isn’t to be legible but rather to shake up the way you think about language. Try writing a stream-of-consciousness piece or an acrostic poem using your off hand and see what happens! 

Exercise 3: Write Blindfolded 

If you’re feeling really daring, try writing blindfolded! Set a timer for five minutes and put on a blindfold before starting. Then just start writing whatever comes into your mind without worrying about spelling, grammar, or syntax; this exercise is supposed to be fun and free-flowing! You might surprise yourself with what comes out when you take away one of your senses and allow yourself to create without judgment or expectation. 

Word Chains 

Word chains are an excellent way to hone your creativity and get those creative juices flowing. To play this game, pick a word and then write as many words as you can that relate to it without repeating any of them. 

For example, let’s say the first word is “cat” – some possible related words could be “feline,” “meow,” “purr,” etc. The goal is to make the chain as long as possible without repeating any of the words. This exercise not only helps you think creatively but also helps you come up with new and interesting words for your writing that you might not have thought of otherwise. 

Story Cubes 

Story cubes are another fun way to stretch your imagination while improving your writing skills. All you need are six dice (or nine if you want an even bigger challenge!). On each die draw a different picture that could represent a part of a story – for example, a character, setting, or plot point. 

Then roll all the dice together and use what comes up as inspiration for a story or poem. This exercise will teach you how to quickly come up with ideas on the fly and develop them into something bigger – both essential skills for any writer! 

Writing Prompts 

Writing prompts can be great tools for sparking new ideas for stories or poems. There are tons of resources online where you can find writing prompts – or just make some up yourself! 

Pick one that piques your interest and then sit down and write whatever comes into your head– no matter how strange it may seem at first glance! This exercise encourages stream-of-consciousness writing which will help you be more creative in other areas of your work too.

What is the Best Creative Writing Exercise by Age?

 Everyone loves to write and express themselves. But sometimes getting started is the hardest part. Whether you’re a kid, a teen, or an adult, these creative writing exercises will get your creative juices flowing and help you come up with some fun and unique ideas for your next story or poem. 

Best Creative Writing Exercises for Adults

For adults looking to flex their creative muscles, a great exercise is to try free-writing. Free-writing is when you just sit down and write whatever comes into your head without any thought of structure or style. Just let it flow! 

Another great exercise for adults is to create a character profile of someone who appears in your story. This can help you get deeper into the mind of that character, allowing you to create an even more detailed story. 

Best Creative Writing Exercises for Kids

For kids just starting out with creative writing, one good exercise is what’s called “word association”—where you take a simple word and then come up with as many related words as possible in a short amount of time. This can help kids learn how to think outside the box and challenge themselves creatively. 

Another good exercise is to ask them to make up their own story—using only objects that they already have around their house or room! It can be anything from creating a story about their stuffed animals coming alive at night, or having an adventure through the kitchen cabinets!  

Best Creative Writing Exercises for Teens

Teens are usually ready for more complex writing exercises that can really push their creativity further. A great exercise for teens is to give them prompts like “write about something you wish would happen” or “describe what it feels like when…” These types of prompts give teens freedom while still pushing them towards exploring new ideas and topics in their writing. 

Plus, having teens work on editing each other’s work can be another amazing way for them to grow as writers while also helping others do the same! 

Collaborative Creative Writing Exercises

Collaborative writing exercises are great ways for anyone—no matter their age—to get creative together! 

One fun example could be having multiple people start off a story each by adding one sentence at a time until it reaches its conclusion. Or having everyone switch between different characters throughout the story so that no one person has control over all the characters and plot points! There are endless possibilities when it comes to collaborative writing exercises; all it takes is some imagination.

Creative Writing Editing Exercises

Editing your creative writing can be a daunting task. You may find yourself staring at the screen, not knowing where to start. But don’t worry, there are plenty of fun editing exercises that you can use to make your writing sparkle. Here are some of our favorite editing exercises to help you get started. 

Read Your Work Aloud

This is one of the most effective ways to edit your own work. When you read it out loud, you will be able to hear any mistakes or awkward sentences more easily than when you just read it in your head. Plus, if you can’t bear the sound of your own voice, then this exercise may be just what you need to give yourself a boost and start editing with confidence. 

Change Up the Punctuation

Have you ever noticed how changing a comma or adding an exclamation mark can completely change the tone of a sentence? Try playing around with different punctuation marks to see how they affect the overall feel of your piece and whether they make it stronger or weaker overall. 

Take Out Unnecessary Words and Phrases

This is one of the most important steps in editing as it helps tighten up your writing and get rid of anything that isn’t truly necessary for conveying meaning or emotion in your story or poem. Take a look at each sentence and ask yourself if there’s anything extra that could be taken out without losing any meaning or affecting the flow of the story/poem in any way – chances are, there’s something!

What Are the 8 Rules of Writing?

To be a successful writer, there are eight essential rules that must be followed.

First, writers need to identify their audience and write content relevant to them. Every piece should have a clear purpose with an introduction and conclusion. Writing should be concise and succinct yet still impactful. Good grammar is paramount; otherwise, readers will become confused or put off by errors. 

Next, all ideas should be thoroughly researched and properly cited if needed. Sixthly, all spoken dialogue must sound realistic between characters.

Proper formatting ensures the article flows well and appears professional. And finally, each sentence must have some level of flow so that the reader can understand the entire thought process behind it all effortlessly. Following these eight rules betters the overall authoring experience while providing an easier read for the end user.

Exercising your creative writing muscle regularly through thoughtful and deliberate prose can improve not only the quality of your writing, but also the quantity. 

By working on small exercises daily, you’ll find that you have more to say when it comes time to write a piece larger in scope. Whether you’re aiming to be published or just want to communicate more effectively, these creative writing exercises will help get you there.

Still not sure about what your next steps should be? Sign up for creative writing lessons and take charge of your prose today!

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Photo by Roco Julie


Suzy S.