Writing Exercises Thread


#1

Hey everyone.

Today, I fell upon a very interesting blog, when I decided to look on the blog of the author of the book I mainly use when I write.
Reading various articles, I then found this one: http://www.bryndonovan.com/2016/06/20/50-writing-prompts-inspired-by-summer/, and decided to share it to everyone, who may want to have fun while writing.

I was mainly trying to fight my procrastination, and it worked. I ended up writing 700 words at once!

It’s been a while that I decided to improve my writing by doing exercises, may it be by trying to improve my dialogues, or the way I write characters, or descriptions, and I thought you may also want to share your result and progress when you make such exercises.

As there are awesome people here, and awesome writers, it could also be a place where we can all share tips and comments about improving our own work, or “style”. (Or even decide to write a short scene together, for fun! :slight_smile: )

So, I chose this one:
Two characters are picking berries. What’s their relationship to each other? Are they having fun, or no?

[details=Here is what I wrote] While Maya was distracted, I decided to step forward, trying my best to stay unnoticed. It was one of those times when I hated my shyness.

The clearing was empty, apart from the bugs populating the tall grass, or the birds chirping in the trees. The bright August sun was imposing an unbearable atmosphere, as the rare breeze of wind wasn’t enough to make me feel comfortable outside. Not a single cloud concealed the blue sky, and I was sweating through my light T-Shirt.

But my parents decided it would be a great idea to go on vacation in a campsite, in the middle of nowhere, and told me to spend more time outside. Mostly because the heat was worse in the caravan we shared.

We soon met Mr and Mrs. Dolphin, an elderly couple spending their annual vacation with their grand daughter, Maya. The fourteen year old girl remained at their side, glaring daggers at me the whole time.
I tried to utter a word, but soon closed my mouth when I noticed the look her sunny blue eyes were shooting me. I avoided her gaze immediately, and I was sure my cheeks reddened.

I remember thinking she was short for her age, but then, I was not really tall myself. Her pale skin indicated she was rarely going outside, or maybe she simply didn’t live in a very sunny place? All my questions and remarks stayed in my head, as they surely would have been badly received. We soon parted, my parents inviting the couple to share a few drinks someday in the week.

I exhaled, relieved to not being subjected at the girl’s hostility anymore, and didn’t thought about it. Until today.

Her red and white dress was arriving to her knees, and as she was turning her back to me, I could silently admire the way her long wavy golden hair cascaded along her back. The skin of her arms was slightly tanned, and she wore a bracelet on her right wrist, made of several colored plastic threads.

A simple basket laid at her feet, resting against a bush, from which Maya was picking up red berries. As she pivoted to put another fistful of berries, her gaze caught me staring, a few feet away from her.

We both froze.

An alarm rang in my mind, and I was a second away from running, like a deer caught in a car’s lights.
My mouth turned dry as I was waiting for her to make the first move.

“Oh, it’s you.”, she stated, her thin lips curling up in distaste, as if I was a disgusting bug on her shoe.

I stayed silent, trying to coming up with something to say. I wanted to turn back, to stop intruding, as I certainly wasn’t welcome. But my feet wouldn’t carry me away.

“My name’s Adam.”

“I know.”

She turned away, apparently deciding to ignore me. I absently ran my tongue on my dried lips, and I couldn’t help but feeling like an idiot, my hands in my pocket and standing still.

“What are you doing here?”, she suddenly asked, her back to me.
“I was…walking. I saw the path, and decided to follow it.” I shrugged, trying to sound nonchalant. “And…you?”

She gave me another dirty look, before waving her hand at the basket. Oh, right. Picking up berries. I now felt like a complete fool.

She faced me, and I examined her round face. My gaze fell on the eyelash that was adorning her left cheek, and her freckles that softened her features.

“You’re going to stand there all day?”, she snarled, crossing her arms and interrupting my observations.

“I can leave, if you’d rather.”

She huffed, before picking up her basket, and taking a step toward me. She seemed to ponder something, before she squared her shoulders, and clenched her jaw.

“I don’t care, but if you stay, make yourself useful.”
She handed me the basket, before swiftly turning around a fraction too late, as I noticed her cheeks were burning.

I couldn’t prevent the silly grin to spread on my face as I stared at her, my heart beating madly in my rib cage. [/details]

And you, how do you practice your writing? Would you like share what you write?


#2

How do I practice writing? With writing, of course :stuck_out_tongue:

Nah. I’ve just never had the patience for writing exercises for some reason, and I’m not usually short on inspiration either. Whenever I don’t make progress on one of my big projects I just doodle on one of my other ideas either until I get bored of it or regain the motivation to return to my actual project for some reason.

I did write a short fairy tale when my mind went off tangent last week though. It was nice to make some tangible progress again, even though it’s useless for my actual projects.

[details=The Princess who could turn to stone]Once, in a kingdom far far away, there was a king. That king had many children, but there was one that was a bit special. While her siblings practiced sword fighting or horsemanship she could often be found reading in the shadow of the four stone dragons standing guard in the garden of her father’s castle.
The king was a quick-tempered man, who waged many wars far away from home, leaving the young princess and her siblings to fend for themselves most of the time. During one of those wars the princess’ siblings decided it was fun to vandalize one of the dragon statues, cutting off its ears and claws, and the young princess wept many tears. When she went to her father to ask him to fix the statue however he burst out in rage and instead of helping the little princess he pushed the statue of the dragon from its pedestal and it shattered to pieces.
At that moment the witch of the garden, who might have been living there for as long as the statues had existed, appeared, and she chastised the king. But instead of listening to her advice he only grew more angry and pierced her heart. It did not affect her though, and she cursed the king with these words.
“Now the dragon is no more. Soon your kingdom is no more.”
Then she vanished.

The little princess wept bitter tears at the pedestal, and tried to put the statue back together, but the pieces wouldn’t stick, no matter what she did. The witch of the garden was touched by her demeanor, and spoke the following words.
“Fear not, dear little one, for the punishment bestowed upon your father will not reach you. For when danger comes, you will be still as stone.”
The little princess obviously didn’t know what her words meant, but they comforted her somehow, and she returned to the castle.

Shortly thereafter the witches words came true, as an army came sweeping through the kingdom, killing off the entire royal family. That is, aside from the little princess. When the soldiers came for her they didn’t find her, you see, only a statue that looked just like her. Same size, same clothes, just stone instead of flesh, and it was left alone.
The king-conqueror made the castle his home, and soon it was like nothing had changed. Only stories persisted, of the ghost of the little princess, the one who did not get caught, still roaming those very halls. They were dismissed, of course, but lingered nonetheless.
Years later the kings oldest son, who had been sent away for training as was common in those days, returned to the castle. He was a man now, and would one day fulfill his father’s role as king.
When the prince moved into his quarters he came upon a statue in a remote corner of the castle, which did not seem to have gathered dust despite the cobwebs that surrounded it, as if it had only been placed there recently. The prince was enamored by this depiction of a young woman, and had the statue moved to his own quarters so that he could gaze upon its beauty at his leisure.

Because of his duties the prince often had to leave the castle for days on end, and whenever he returned there was talk of the ghost of the former princess roaming the halls. Food disappeared from the kitchen, clothing vanished, and books had been moved around in the library. At first the prince thought nothing of it and dismissed it as servants’ gossip, but then he began to notice things as well.
Despite him having been away and his bed having been made there were subtle signs that it had been used in his absence, the chair of his desk had been moved, and most importantly, there were subtle differences to the statue between when he had left it and when he gazed upon it once he returned. He kept track of these differences, and found out what had bothered him so. The statue’s hair and the ruffles of her dress changed from day to day, as well as its stance, orientation and exact location.
The prince was mystified by this, to say the least, but determined to find out what caused it. As of such he devised a plan. He pretended to leave on a journey again, but in reality he hid himself in his room, just out of sight of the statue’s cold stone eyes. At first nothing happened, but once the clock struck midnight the soft rustle of fabric could be heard. Despite his curiosity the prince held his position, and soon a flesh and blood version of the woman from the statue came walking into view. She ate some food she had stashed away at the back of a drawer, read a book by the light of the moon and went to sleep in the prince’s bed without him moving from his spot. This continued for a few days.
With the prince’s curiosity sated and him being even more enamored with the woman of the statue than before he decided to confront her about it. That night, after she had returned from a trip to the kitchen, he stepped out of his hiding place, and the princess shrieked in fear. The prince had no intention of harming her though, and managed to put her at ease with some kind words. They got to talking, and soon fell in love, but when the prince wanted to speak to his father about marrying her she begged him not to do so.
When the prince asked her about it the princess broke down in tears and told him the entire story, from the moment her siblings had vandalized the dragon statue to the moment she had frozen in place as his father and his men flooded the castle and wiped out her entire family.

The prince was distraught by her tale, but determined to marry her anyway, and he told her so. The princess still tried to persuade him otherwise, but the prince wouldn’t budge and went to see his father anyway.
As he told the king-conqueror about how he wanted to marry the princess who survived the king became enraged, casting the prince into the deepest dungeon and combed out the castle for the princess, who they naturally didn’t find.
After that day the princess wandered the castle every night in search of her love, but was unable to reach him. This continued until one night the princess realized she was with child, and wept bitter tears at the foot of the dragon statues. She sung to them the story of her life and love, until the statues wept along. At that moment the witch of the garden came to her, touched by her plight, and comforted her. Together they devised a plan,
That morning the princess stood in the garden in her flesh and blood form, and the king was attended to her presence. Realizing who she was the king rushed out, enraged, and tried to bring his sword to bear on her. She hid behind one of the dragon statues however, the tears still wet on its stone face, and as the king passed it came to life. The king swung his sword at it, to no avail, and with one bite the king was no more.

Those who had allied with the king fled, and the prince was crowned instead. He married the princess and restore the ruined statue, and the two would rule the country for many years to come. And the witch? Well, that’s for another story. [/details]


#3

It is an awesome tale, I liked it a lot.

I just paused when I read the part where she was with child, wondering if I missed something :sweat_smile: Now I understand better why he suddenly wanted to marry her! Kidding.
Ah, fairy tales. shakes her head

Thank you for sharing it. Of course there would be dragons in it… :stuck_out_tongue:


#4

Well, she did spend her nights almost exclusively in his quarters :smirk:

Now I’ve so got to write the background story of the witch and the stone dragons some day…


#5

Thanks for sharing @Snowpanther - that blog has lots of decent resources on it to check out.

Inspiration strikes in weird ways… like a dolphin jumping the waves it will come and go.

Just be careful or some young writers will call you grandma and put you in a nursing home before you turn 40… you don’t think that happens… just wait n see. lol.


#6

Hey, they’re already calling me grandma, and I’m only 23. You might be a bit optimistic with that estimate :wink:


#7

WHAT, I’m older than the Rosemod !? That’s just… Wow

Now, after recent revelations, I must object to that on the grounds of third-party interest.


#8

Shivers Grandma Snow. Aaaaargh! Runs away

Grandma Rose sounds fine! dancing gran emoji

@Guhik yep, it does have this effect, we wouldn’t have guessed, right? :wink: If I were to write a story about the Kalathol’s gang, she would definitely be the gran! Remembers the “granny” hands comment suddenly


#9

Shall we get back on topic now?

A different thing I do when trying to get back in the writing mood is shutting down my computer and sitting on the couch with a piece of paper and a pencil and brainstorm about things I would want to do in my stories, though I’m not sure if that would count as a ‘writing exercise’.


#10

I sit outside on our “patio” and watch the squirrels and robins among the trees in our “yard” …

patio is in quotation marks because its a slab of 6’ by 6’ cement that every ground floor apartment has and yard has quotes because it is shared by all the complex’s residents …


#11

Something I came up with the other day and have yet to do:

Sit somewhere busy, pick out people who look like they have something going on (they’re dressed odd, they’re engaged in a conversation, etc.) and then make up stories about them.

It could be a good way to pass the time while you’re at an airport or waiting at the doctor’s office: Who is that person? Why are they here? Where are they going? And so on.