The Alchemist's Lair
Thoughts on writing, language, life as a freelancer,
and what comes to mind.
and what comes to mind.
Every form of writing benefits from a bit of creativity. Whether you're writing posts for your business blog, creating marketing content or just indulging in leisure scribbling, using vivid imagery and unusual scenarios can help you go a long way.
Instructions for use
The following prompts are meant to help you develop a writing habit at ease. They can also help you regain a bit of passion when deadline-driven writing drains all of your energies.
As such, it is important to avoid getting over-anxious about the outcomes.
The goal is to let your creative juices flowing whilst having fun with words.
If you're using the exercises to improve your writing, you can revise your works at a later stage.
The "rules" are simple: find a quiet place, and write. No distractions.
Remember: If you're in a hurry, these writing exercises will become yet another burden in a packed day - and won't work as intended.
And now ...
1. The time warp
Look out of the window, and briefly note down the characteristics of the first person you see (man/woman/child, age, attire).
Now, pick a random year from a calendar - and imagine what would that person see/hear/experience if sent back to e.g. 1359.
2. The thief
Back home from a night out, you find out that something of very modest value (e.g. a pen, a dress, an ornamental plant) has been stolen.
Who is the thief behind the strange crime, and why did it happen?
3. The pocket watch
There's something gleaming beneath the sand at the beach.
You dig out a pocket watch with a monogram engraved on the case. It's stuck at 4:07 am. Why is the pocket watch broken? What happened to the owner?
4. The unusual dinner
Pick two characters you like. They can be from any kind of fictional realm (e.g. books, comics, computer games, movies), but they must be from 2 different sources, and come from different backgrounds in terms of age, setting, profession, and so on.
Now imagine them having dinner together. What would e.g. Riddick and Holly Golightly tell each other? Who else is in the room? What happens there?
5. The lost picture
An explorer is scouting a jungle/a cavern/some ruins a thousand miles from home. Underneath a rock, he/she finds a picture from his/her home town.
What's the story behind the picture, and why is it there now?
6. The colourful mix
Choose a colour. Take a short walk, and note down the first three things you see that match that colour (e.g. a coat, a car, and a baking powder package).
Now write a story that includes, and somehow connects, the three elements.
7. The night call
A man/woman/child picks up a call at night. A slightly metallic voice delivers a recorded message, and the call ends with an eerie sound. How does the character react? What did the message say? What happens next?
The bottom line
Writing consistently improves your communication skills, expands your vocabulary, and also has significant psychological benefits that can make your life easier.
Indulging in regular creative writing exercises beyond the usual routine (of emails, blog posts, ...) creates a "safe space" where you can explore new ways of expressing yourself with words and imagery. Over time, this also fosters your writing skills, and helps delivering clear messages when it matters.
Have you ever used creative writing as a way to improve your communication skills? What are your favourite writing prompts? Join the conversation in the comments below!