5 Ways to Shake Up Your Writing

(I’m busy fighting dragons, so I’m reposting an old favorite today.)

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

  1. 1 Sue Mitchell November 19, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    I really like #3. Sometimes It’s fun to play around with something that already exists rather than starting from scratch. Great ideas, Sandy!

    • 2 stranglingmymuse November 20, 2011 at 11:48 am

      Thanks, Sue! I’ve had some fun with #3 — you never know what you’re going to come up with when you switch genres. Even if you don’t like the result, it gets your creativity flowing!


  2. 3 yhosby November 19, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    I really like your ideas. They are all fun ways to create tension for the story. No one wants to read a happy-go-lucky scene every single time.

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