Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Find Inspiration with these Writing Exercises

If you're having trouble writing and need some stimulation to get you going.  Look no further.

First Lines

Grab a pile of your favourite novels and start reading and writing the first sentence of each one.

When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

The stranger came early in February, one wintry day, through a biting wind and a driving snow, the last snowfall of the year, over the down, walking as it seemed from Bramblehurst railway station, and carrying a little black portmanteau in his thickly gloved hand.

- The Invisible Man, H.G. Wells

1801 - I have just returned from a visit to my landlord - the solitary neighbour that I shall be trouble with.

- Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë

In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since.

- The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald

On February 24, 1815, the lookout at Notre-Dame de la Garde signalled the arrival of the three-master Pharaon, coming from Smyrna, Trieste and Naples.

- The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas

Call me Ishamel.

- Moby Dick, Herman Melville

You can open any novel randomly and choose and line from it, but the power is in the first line, because this is where the author is setting the stage for you and sends out a hook to catch when you start reading.  When you start writing ask yourself "what is it about the story I'm writing that will draw in the reader?".

First Line Story Starters - Copy the first line then continue the story in your own words, for five minutes.

Word Association - Think of a word write it down, then another word that relates to the first word until you've created a chain of single words or phrases in this way.

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  1. It's really interesting to notice how casually these stories start.