Ok kiddos, it’s time for another writing exercise [cheering]

This is a new one that I’ve only just come up with (like maybe just a minute ago), so I’m not sure how well it will work. Feel free to leave a comment and tell me it’s terrible. It’ll help build my thick writer’s skin. Yep.

Where to start, where to start

This exercise has two parts (or three, depending on how you look at it).

First, think of the last person you spoke to today. What did you say to him/her? Where were you? What were you doing? I’d also suggest changing their names so that they can become “characters” rather than people you know. Choose some interesting names.

Here’s mine:

“Okay, see you guys later, I have to talk to my boss.” [closes door as Montana and Perla put on their shoes to go climb Arthur’s Seat].

Got it? Good. Next, change the scenario. What if what happened next didn’t actually happen next? Write this next bit without censoring yourself. Bring in something WILD and CRAZY. Like…ALIENS. Orrrr VIKINGS. Orrrr a NATURAL DISASTER. You get the idea? Ok, 250 words.


“Okay, see you guys later, I have to talk to my boss,” she said, closing the door to her bedroom. But what she really meant was her boss of DOOM and DESTRUCTION, the ALIEN OVERLORD. Who speaks with a German accent for some reason. As the door eeked closed inch by inch, Montana and Perla’s laughing faces were blocked out from her memory and her life forever. She sat down in front of her computer and logged into the ALIEN INTERFACE. It timed out. “Damn internet connection,” she muttered, tearing open the door again. Montana and Perla’s surprised faces stared up at her from the floor, where they were sitting putting on their shoes. She towered over them, casting a dark shadow over their already shadowy figures (little did she know, they were not actually her friends Montana and Perla, but the human manifestations of her overactive imagination, brought on by too much time spent in front of the computer screen). They stopped tying their shoes. They stared at her. And she glowered back at them. Their figures grew dimmer and dimmer until their edges blurred and they lost all form, disappearing in a puff of smoke.

Part TWO of doom and destruction a.k.a. EDITING

Yeah, some words! That was fun, right? Right?? Yeah. Now the real fun begins. Edit that mess down to 100(ish) words without losing any meaning or plot points. Ready? Yeah? Good.

“Okay, see you later, I gotta talk to my boss.” She eeked her bedroom door closed. Need to get some WD40, she thought, as Montana and Perla’s laughing faces disappeared from her sight. They sat on the dirty brown carpet, tying their shoes, movements synchronized, mechanical. She shrugged and plopped into her chair to log in to the Alien Interface. But it timed out. She hit refresh. It timed out. She flicked the screen, hit refresh. Timed out. She slammed her fist into the desk. “Dammit.” Standing up, she jerked open the door, startling Montana and Perla. Their edges blurred, erased like the outline of a drawing, and their forms dispersed into smoke.