Exercise for Writers


Writing exercises are a fun way to get your mind working and your imagination running. In honor of the letter e, today’s post will be a writing exercise.
First, I’m going to describe a female and a male. After reading through each description, jot down a name for the female and a name for the male.
Second, I’m going to give you a female name and a male name, write down what you think (based on their name only) that these two characters look like.
Third, I’m going to give you a situation for a male and female character. I want you to come up with a back story for the character based on the circumstance they are in.
Fourth, I will describe a scene and you will come up with a location for your character. If you want you can let us know why your character is there.
You don’t have to list all of your answers in the comments, but one or two would be cool. At the end we can compare what everyone came up with and see if any minds are thinking alike. Don’t peek at the other comments until you come up with your own answers.
Ready, Set, Create!
FEMALE CHARACTER: (Name her) She stands in front of the photograph staring at the black and white picture of the mother and child huddled under a blanket. She recalls the day she took the shot. It was the day she chopped her waist length hair off with a pair of kitchen scissors. She wanted to look edgy but sheik for her first photo shoot. It was the first day she truly believed she was a photographer.

MALE CHARACTER: (Name him) He couldn’t go fishing without his grey cargo pants. He was wearing the pants every time he got a big catch. Today, fifty bucks was riding on the biggest catch. He couldn’t risk losing to the jock. He might not be able to throw a football or hit a baseball but he could hook a fish.


(3.) Mother of three caught stealing at local grocery store. Items in her possession were scotch tape, a jar of hot sauce and a pack of straws.

(4.) Eighteen year old male standing on top of a chair in the food court of local mall singing at the top of his lungs “Don’t You Want Me Baby,” by Rod Stewart.


(1.) Running along the railroad tracks are four old brick factories which have been abandoned since I can remember. The windows are smashed or boarded up. An overgrown courtyard rests in the middle of the dilapidated buildings. Every once in a while a group of boys can be spotted playing hide and go seek despite the no trespassing signs.

(2.) The three story house is surrounded by Weeping Willow trees. A small lake is less than twenty yards away from their back porch. Three ducks have claimed the lake their home.


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7 responses to “Exercise for Writers

  1. I enjoyed writing exercises when I did my studying. They are a great way to stimulate the ideas and get flowing. 🙂

  2. Sharing my responses!

    Female Character: Lydia (I swear, I didn’t peak at the second prompt)
    Male Character: Hunter

    Lydia – Dark hair, purple streaks, a smirk on her lips, her hair is pulled back out of her face and twirled into an impromptu bun with a chopstick, her clothes are comfortable, science/nerdy t-shirt, jeans covered in paint from her latest project
    Tucker – Blue polo shirt, green undershirt, untucked with khaki cargo pants, sandy blonde hair, a shy smile, hazel eyes

    1. It was a grocery trip gone terribly wrong. At the last minute her oldest son (a fourth grade terror) told her of a model volcano that he needed for science class. Dragging him into the store with the two younger twins (two year olds and terrors in their own way) barely able to sit in the grocery cart without their sticky fingers reaching out and pulling anything they could get their hands on into the cart. She thought she had put everything back. Sadly, she underestimated the twins ability to slip items into her purse while she was distracted.

    2. He wanted to impress her. She had been his highschool crush since freshmen year and it was April – Prom season. It was now or never he told himself as he stood up on the chair. He cleared his throat before pushing play on his ipod, blasting the music through the foodcourt before he started to sing – loudly. It didn’t matter that he was off key or that his voice cracked. He saw the look on her face and he knew that he had won.

    1. She stands just outside the boarded factory, staring at it. The boys playing hide and seek were gone now. It was far past their bed time after all. There was something inside this old building that called to her. She wasn’t certain what it was but every time she passed she could feel it, hear it almost, like a voice calling her name. Tonight she was going to find out what it was. Tonight she would put away her fears and journey into the unknown.

    2. It was their favorite spot. The old man sat on the porch of their house and stared out onto the lake. It was fall, the willow tree’s leaves turning yellow and beginning to drift down to the bank of the lake. She would have loved it this year. The sounds of the ducks, the crisp smell of autumn in the air – it reminded him of her. And in sitting there he could almost feel as though she was there right beside him.

    That was a lot of fun!

    Cath from Dramatics and Words

    • Maribeth

      I loved reading all of your responses. How neat that we both thought of the same names. Thanks so much for playing along!!!

  3. Great exercise. I love the mother of three situation.

  4. Great post, I am following from blogging A to Z.


  5. I love writing exercises. So many different scenarios can arise.

  6. Ooh, I need these!

    I need to get to exercises like these soon. For now, I’m still just “shotgunning” it with Writing Every Day. It’s been a great exercise to make sure I post something at least once a day. I’ve been good about it, sometimes down to the wire and most often to the detriment of other parts of life (work, lifestyle, etc.) but I’ve made it a priority and I’m happy with it. I want to just keep going.

    But I also want to write more creatively and your post helps bring me back in that direction. Thanks for posting.

    Bradley Charbonneau’s Pass the Sour Cream A-Z Challenge.

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