5 Ways to Shake Up Your Writing

  1. Write a list of things you’re passionate about. Include everything: chocolate chip cookies, the actor/actress you fantasize about, vampires, jazz trumpet, dreams of flying….Pick two or three of these and combine them to create a story.
  2. Choose something you fervently believe to be true. This could be a political or religious belief, or—perhaps more interesting—the fact that grass is green, your belief that elves might exist, your conviction that Macs are better than PCs. Write something from the point of view of a character who holds the opposite belief. But don’t write directly about this issue. Create a scene where your character is dealing with a difficult relationship problem or a tricky work situation.
  3. Take something you’ve already written and write it in a different genre. Change a memory to a fictional story about a character who’s a woman if you’re a man, or vice versa. Rewrite a literary passage as a pivotal scene in a mystery novel. Change your crime scene into a romantic segment. Get creative!
  4. Write about a secret you never—or rarely—reveal. Be deeply honest. You don’t have to show it to anyone else, ever. You can even burn it when you’re done. But the deep, true writing will still help your creativity grow.
  5. Imagine that something you take for granted doesn’t exist—gravity, being a human, your boss expecting good work from you, etc. Write about life without this thing you’re used to.


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36 Responses to “5 Ways to Shake Up Your Writing”


  1. 1 Mr Trolah March 6, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    Completely agreed, nice writing. I will take this into account :)

  2. 2 Linda Strawn March 7, 2010 at 8:15 am

    I’m constantly on the look out for sage writing advice, and you gave some good ones. Thank you!

  3. 3 Denny McCorkle March 7, 2010 at 11:18 am

    Thanks Sandy. Another great post! @TweetRightBrain

  4. 4 jenneandrews March 7, 2010 at 11:27 am

    Terrific! You might enjoy my work at my word press blog– http://www.loquaciouslyyours.com — writing flash memoir with a view to a collection. Former full-time Poet in Residence of the St. Paul Schools and mentor myself and your ideas are terrific! Jenne’

  5. 5 stranglingmymuse March 7, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    I’m glad you liked this post, Mr Trolah, Linda, Denny and Jenne. Thanks so much for taking the time to tell me — it means a lot to me to hear it, and keeps me inspired to come up with more creative ideas to share!
    ~Sandy

  6. 6 Lina March 8, 2010 at 5:01 am

    I loved reading your blogpost and I will definitely use your advice.

    Thanks for a lovely blog, Sandy!

  7. 8 katwalk65 March 10, 2010 at 1:45 am

    Great post, thank you! Please feel free to visit my writing blog

    http://imuapress.wordpress.com/

  8. 10 Bruce Cagle March 14, 2010 at 4:57 am

    Thanks sandy,
    I plan on using your #1 for one of my posts next week.
    Thanks for the suggestions- always looking for new ideas

  9. 12 oreowriter March 15, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    Great ideas all! Writing exercises are really important and these are some strong ones that get right to the point! One that I borrow from Stephen King’s book On Writing is to switch the gender of your characters and see how that affects your story.

  10. 14 Leroy March 16, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Fantastic ideas Sandy. Already, I can see how this will spice up my writings. Excellent ideas. Good success in all your endeavors! Leroy.

    • 15 stranglingmymuse March 16, 2010 at 12:55 pm

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Leroy. I’m glad you found some inspiration here. Good luck with your writing!
      ~Sandy

  11. 16 Brian Meeks March 17, 2010 at 12:07 am

    I have only been blogging for the last 73 days, but I haven’t missed one yet. Your list I found to be incredibly helpful. I am going to try out some of those suggestions this weekend. Thanks so much.

    • 17 stranglingmymuse March 17, 2010 at 11:54 am

      Wow, blogging for 73 days straight — that’s impressive, Brian. Keep it up! I’m glad you like my list of exercises. I hope they help you produce some inspired writing this weekend. If you write something you like, feel free to share it here.
      ~Sandy

  12. 18 Julie Parker March 25, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Hi Sandy,

    Thanks for the tips. I am fairly creative having several blogs but lately I have struggled more about writing for others and about specific hot financial management topics so your tips were timely.

    • 19 stranglingmymuse March 25, 2010 at 3:46 pm

      Julie, you must be VERY creative if you can use the tips in this post to write about hot financial management topics! Thanks for stopping by, and good luck with your writing!

      ~Sandy

  13. 20 Peter March 26, 2010 at 12:27 am

    Hi Sandy this is Peter I am so sorry for pasting you Article. It was your is your and will be your for ever I gust pasted on my page that’s it I never us my name on. If you don’t mind please let it be there so more people can read it. Or I will remove it.
    Thanks

    Peter Gill

    • 21 stranglingmymuse March 26, 2010 at 8:12 am

      Thanks for your apology, Peter. I understand that you may not have realized you are violating my copyright. Where you posted my work it is shown with your byline. My name is not mentioned, nor is the name of this blog. Even if you had included my name, posting my work elsewhere without my permission is still a copyright infringement. Please remove the post. Thanks.

      ~Sandy

  14. 22 Winfred0000 March 27, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    Hi!

    I like your ideas to spark creativity. They are interesting as they provoke one to take different perspectives in narrative and character and also lead toward a kind of morphing into other realms beyond a change in perspectives. Thank you for your contribution to writing and your giving to others with your advice and ideas. I’m a writer (pianist too) and appreciate this. I just joined Stumble and do not know what the proper etiquette is but I have writings at Booksie if anyone has a chance…. Thanks again for your contribution.

    Sincerely,
    Winfred0000

    • 23 stranglingmymuse March 30, 2010 at 11:06 pm

      Thanks for the feedback — I’m glad you like my exercises! I’ll check out your work at Booksie. Good luck with your writing (and music)!

      ~Sandy

  15. 24 oceania2 April 24, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    Thanks for your advice; I certainly could use the information. I enjoy reading and I am trying to harness my writing.
    I will appreciate any suggestions.

  16. 26 Leslie July 21, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Hi Sandy–

    You’ve got some great ideas here! I particularly like #3 and plan to give that a try with some of my old pieces. Thanks for sharing!

    • 27 stranglingmymuse July 21, 2010 at 12:40 pm

      Hi Leslie, I’m glad you found some inspiration here — thanks so much for letting me know!

      Good luck with #3, and with all your writing!

      ~Sandy

  17. 28 DeAnn Sicard May 22, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    Reblogged this on A Writer’s Guide to Words: and commented:
    I love finding new ways to look at the art of writing. Hope you find this as interesting as I did. Thanks for the insight Sandy.


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