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 (or translating) marketing content or just indulging in leisure scribbling, using vivid imagery and unusual scenarios can help you go a long way.
How to: Using writing prompts
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 creates a "safe space" where you can explore new techniques. This also improves your writing skills, and helps you deliver compelling messages when it matters.
The rules are simple:
1. Set a "writing focus time" (e.g. 45 minutes).
2. Find a quiet place, and leave all distractions behind.
3. Select a writing prompt from the selection below.
To get the most out of the exercise, take it easy.
The goal is to let your creative juices flow whilst having fun with words. If you're using the exercises to improve your writing, you can revise your works at a later stage.
And now ...
1. The time warp
Look out of the window, and note the characteristics of the first person you see (gender, age, attire, general impression). 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 fictional characters you like. They should come from different settings (book, game, movie etcetera), and have different backgrounds in terms of age, setting, profession, ...
Now imagine them having dinner together. 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?
How did you like these prompts? What are your favourite sources of inspiration & settings for writing exercises? Share your tips in the comments below!