#StartWritingFiction: Originality & Inspiration

Here are a handful of short, fun exercises from the last couple of lessons from Start Writing Fiction.

An ordinary object described in an unusual way:

A discarded boxing glove lays on top of the bookshelf, curled in on itself like a dying animal – and stinking like one, too.

Finish the prompt: “Emma said that…”

Emma said that she would never burn a book, and furthermore, that anyone who did so was a vile ignoramus. It was a practiced and well-rehearsed rant of hers, one her friends had heard many times. But when she finished reading Jim’s so-called novel – steaming pile of crap, more like it – and especially the part that was a thinly veiled description of their disastrous love affair, she found herself outside, heating up the barbecue grill.

How can you turn your character sketch into a story?

My character sketch of “Lauren” doesn’t immediately suggest any kind of conflict, although I can think of a few questions that might lead to a story – why is she hiding out in the garage? why does she care about “winning” an interoffice fitness challenge? what if the stranger walking by wasn’t a stranger, but someone she knew, and she gets caught cheating? what would it take for her to accept the challenge for real and step outside her comfort zone and make a lifestyle change? what if she’s the antagonist in another character’s story? what if something happens to her dog, and that shocks her out of her complacency, because she does really love him? what if her dog is the only one she feels like she can trust? why does she feel that way?

That’s it for today! Almost finished with the second set of lessons now. 🙂


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