The 100 words prompt from Velvet Verbosity was one of the best writing exercises I’ve ever done. It works by getting a random word or prompt and trying to write exactly 100 words based on that prompt. Here’s why it’s such a great writing exercise to do regularly?
Creativity is often spurred by random inspirations. Something you see or hear can trigger an urge to write or can create a scene in your mind. This writing exercise works by exercising precisely that creative process. The way I do it is to write whatever comes to mind without judging. This allows your mind to make connections creatively so you might have the prompt ‘ace’ and it could turn into a piece about gambling and playing poker or about a pilot who is an ‘ace’ pilot. You might even jump from ‘ace’ to somewhere completely unexpected like a band with the word ‘ace’ in their name perfoming in a local venue. This is probably the most fun kind of writing. It’s focussed but creative. It’s a very good way of practising random or free writing but within a word limit.
Before I started writing this blog I was always afraid to write my opinion about creative writing and was a lot less confident about my writing. I started the blog as a way to give the advice I wished that people had given me about creative writing when I was younger and to push myself to get over my initial fear. These sorts of exercises do improve your confidence because once you’ve done them you realise that you can write on the spur of the moment any time and from any prompt.
Trying to fit a scene into a specific word count is not something I would normally recommend but for an exercise it’s surprising useful because it forces you to edit/reshuffle and cut words and phrases to fit the word count. Occassionally I only reached 99 words or got 101 but I tried to be as exact as possible and usually managed it. It’s brilliant practise, if you ever have a specific word count you have to adhere to.
4. Different Perspectives
I feel that having someone else pick a prompt for you is usually better than picking your own prompt because there’s a higher chance of getting and using words that you don’t normally use. The randomness inspires you to go to different places and to create different scenes than you might ever write usually. This breaks you out of your usuall writing style and so will only strengthen your overall writing and flexibility as a writer. This will help boost your confidence that you can write more styles than you perhaps believed you could. For me, I wrote some prose and poetry that was very different from my regular styles which are usually fantasy novels or political/emotional poetry. The change felt refreshing and though I still love writing novels more than anything else, it spurred me to write and to experiment on a couple of short stories that I thoroughly enjoyed writing. The prompts spurred my imagination in ways I never expected. So if you have never done a writing exercise try it! If you haven’t got a prompt here’s one:
If you do choose to use the prompt, feel free to share a link below and I’ll definitely try to have a read. Have fun and keep writing!