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Today’s poetry and story exercises: 8th September 2017

08 Sep

*** If you enjoy these prompts, or are looking to improve your writing or submit a manuscript, do take a look at my seven online courses… five currently half price and and two FREE! (coupon codes on the online courses page) and / or my Writer’s Block Workbooks… my best-selling eBooks – now available in eBook and paperback format!

Every weekday I post a set of poetry prompts on poetrywritinggroup.wordpress.com and a set of story prompts on the scriptnovel and short story blogs. As you’ll see by the heading numbers, you may have missed a few but the links are listed on the relevant group’s Exercises page so you can always find them there. So here are your poetry and short story exercises…

Poetry Writing Exercises 1212: Friday 8th September

Here are your four poetry exercises for today. If you enjoy these prompts, do take a look at my online courses… six are currently half price (when using the coupon codes on my main blog’s online courses page) and another is FREE!

Time yourself for 15 minutes per exercise, having a break in between each one or move on to the next.  When you’ve finished, do pop over to this blog’s Facebook Group and let everyone know how you got on.

Below are the four – you can do them in any order.

  1. Keywords: use, umbrella, under, udder, up
  2. Random: celebrating / commiserating another decade
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. One-word prompt: heel

Have fun, and if you would like to, do paste your writing in the comment boxes below so we can see how you got on! Remember though that it counts as being published so don’t post anything that you would want to submit elsewhere (where they require unpublished material).

See below for explanations of the prompts, they do vary…

  • Sentence starts = what it says on the tin. You can use it at the beginning of the poem or include it later, and being poetry it doesn’t have to be exact – just be inspired by it.
  • Keywords = the words have to appear in the poem but can be in any order and can be lengthened (e.g. clap to clapping).
  • Single-word prompt = sometimes all it takes is one word to spawn an idea. Sometimes it easy, sometimes hard but invariably fun.
  • Mixed bag = an object, a location, a colour.
  • Picture prompts = nothing other than a picture. What does it conjure up?
  • Title = The title for your piece.
  • Haiku poem= 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables
  • Random = whatever takes my fancy!

Story Writing Exercises 1216: Friday 8th Sept

Here are your four story exercises for today. If you enjoy these prompts (or are looking to improve your writing or submit a manuscript), do take a look at my online courses… five are currently half price and the other two are FREE (when using coupon codes)!

Time yourself for 15 minutes for each one, then either have a break or move on to the next one. When you’ve finished, do pop over to this blog’s Facebook Group and let everyone know how you got on.

Below are the four – you can do them in any order.

  1. Keywords: infallible, elementary, mighty, trivial, absorb
  2. Random: mix today’s prompts
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. One-word prompt: distracting

Have fun, and if you would like to, do paste your writing in the comment boxes below so we can see how you got on! Remember though that it counts as being published so don’t post anything that you would want to submit elsewhere (where they require unpublished).

See below for explanations of the prompts, they do vary…

  • Sentence starts = what they say on the tin. You can start the beginning of the story with them or a later sentence but they’re a great way of kicking off.
  • Keywords = the words have to appear in the story but can be in any order and can be lengthened (e.g. clap to clapping).
  • One-word prompt = sometimes all it takes is one word to spawn an idea. Sometimes it easy, sometimes hard but invariably fun.
  • Mixed bag = two characters, an object, a location, a dilemma, a trait. Mix them all together and you have a plot… hopefully.
  • First person piece or monologue (a one-sided conversation).
  • Dialogue only = this is where you literally just write a conversation between two people. No ‘he said’, ‘she said’ or description, just speech and the reader has to be able to keep up. 🙂
  • Second-person = some of you will know that I champion. The prompt can be in any style but has to be written in second-person viewpoint… oh, what a hardship. 🙂
  • Title: This is the title of your story.
  • Picture prompts = nothing other than a picture. What does it conjure up?
  • Random = whatever takes my fancy!

Tips

  • Don’t forget your five senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, smell
  • Show don’t tell: if your character is angry, don’t tell us he is, have him thumping his fist on the table.
  • Colours: Include at least one colour in your story. It does add depth.
  • Use strong verbs and avoid adverbs: Have a character striding instead of walking confidently.
  • Only use repetition to emphasise.
  • When you’ve finished the first draft, read the story out loud. It’s surprising how many ‘mistakes’ leap out at you when you read out loud… assuming you have any of course!
  • And there are loads more writing tips on https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/writing-101.

Pictures above courtesy of morguefile.com / pixabay.com

hitman-sam-cover-front-smallI wrote a crime lad lit novella (48,000 words) called Hitman Sam in 2008 and over the years, edited it, left it to marinate, re-edited it, put it back, then finally this year (2016), I edited it again and sent it to my beta readers who were kind enough to give me their feedback which led to more alterations and finally, on November 2nd, it was published!

It is available for 99c / 99p (or the equivalent in your country) via http://mybook.to/HitmanSam (links to Amazon in your country) or directly via Amazon.co.ukAmazon.com etc. but before you rush over to purchase this quirky novella, do read on to find out more about it…

Blurb: Newly-redundant software designer Sam Simpson is looking for a new adventure – a cryptic advert in his local paper gives him that, and more. With two women vying for his affection, going behind their backs isn’t the smartest things he’s ever done.

This follows on just a month after my crime mystery novella, After Jessica, was published. Yay! Details below…

after-jessica-cover-front-smallThe second book I wrote, back in 2009, was After Jessica, a crime mystery novella published in October 2016. You can download this novella for just 99c / 99p via http://mybook.to/AfterJessica (which links to the Amazon page in your country) or directly from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com etc.

Tagline: Wind up his late sister’s affairs, Simon gets more than he bargains for.

Blurb: Jessica is an ordinary girl who comes across extraordinary circumstances and pays for them with her life. As well as identifying her body, her brother Simon then has to wind up her affairs but gets more than he bargains for. Who is Alexis, and why are Veronica and Daniel searching for her? Why is there a roll of cash in Jessica’s house, and what’s the connection between Simon’s sister and Alexis?

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1 Comment

Posted by on September 8, 2017 in ideas, novels, poetry, short stories, writing

 

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One response to “Today’s poetry and story exercises: 8th September 2017

  1. liz blackmore

    September 13, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    I enjoyed the poetry prompt! This is the result.

    As the rain fell down ne’er the land
    As the winds blew strong in their own defence
    As my umbrella dutifully sprung itself tense
    As the snake slithered out from under the rock
    My goats begged for relief

    As their udders filled with savoury milk
    As the kids bleated loud out for more
    As the man glanced out from aside the door
    As the gate banged to and fro
    He beckoned me come hither

    As the stranger watched my slow response
    As he lifted up his pipe rather shy
    As he used a match once more to try
    As I hesitated one second longer
    The smoke blew quickly away

    As I saw the glint in his eyes quite brown
    As I heard him speak some muffled words
    As he laughed at my following the herds
    As I tried to see what brought him
    My mind returned to it’s state of inanition

    As he patiently soothed my knitted brow
    As he pat the seat on the dampish log
    As he tried to calm my minds’ dense fog
    As I slapped his hand away
    I screamed at the pain

    As I walk the path to the grand cliff edge
    As he tries to turn me back
    As my body just goes slack
    As my arm is yanked I tumble
    Finally my world is black

    As he stands looking t’wards the sea
    As he holds my woollen mitt
    As he pauses before the little flit
    As the gulls echo his thoughts
    He takes the step to join me now

     

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