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Old February 20th, 2014 (9:45 AM).
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Nolafus Nolafus is offline
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Just like what the title is asking, do you guys ever do writing exercises? Have you ever done writing exercises? I'm not talking about writing a story, but little activities that you work on for an hour and never really touch again just for the sake of improving your skills a little bit. If you have done some, what are the things you did and what were you working on? If you haven't done any, why not?
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Old February 20th, 2014 (10:33 AM).
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GastlyGibus GastlyGibus is offline
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I mess with them from time to time. Not as often as I should, but sometimes it's a fun distraction.

I read an article a while back that had some fun little games to play if you were ever bored. There were five exercises in total, but my personal favorite was this one (quoting directly from the article here):

Drive Your Story Insane

Make a throwaway copy of whatever you're working on, pick a point at complete random, and, purely as a practice exercise -- with no thought for cohesiveness or quality -- introduce something totally unexpected. If you're writing something ridiculous and fun, have your wackiest character get a call telling them they have terminal stomach cancer. If you're writing a serious literary drama about a woman struggling to deal with emotional commitment, have a troop of superpowered luchadores bust out of a wedding cake. Figure out how your characters would respond to utter madness and desolation. Try (and, almost certainly, desperately fail) to make these random events jive with your world and existing plot. You're not keeping the end result. It doesn't count, so do whatever you want. As a writer, never forget that you're Bill Murray on Groundhog Day. You know everything and can do whatever you want, without consequence. You are the undisputed master of this plane of existence. The words aren't writing you -- you're a ♥♥♥♥ing literary god. Be a bad one for a page or two. You're Gozer the Gozerian, and these petty mortals dare defy you? ♥♥♥♥ 'em. Warp reality, completely screw the whole world, damage your character's minds and send them reeling into psych wards with acute PTSD from the experience. Then, when you're finished, close your word processor and go back to the real story. It will help, in the long run. You just never know the measure of a woman until you've seen how she takes an atomic suplex on her wedding day.

An Example:

"Do you solemnly swear to love and obey-"

"Did somebody say 'ole'?!" A muffled voice sounded, impossibly, from inside my wedding cake.

"No," Mark started, scanning for the source, "no they actually didn-"

He cut off when a fist-size clump of frosting caught him in the bridge of the nose. I didn't even see the chaos; I was too close to the cakesplosion epicenter. There was a hot, wet thump, and then I was upside down on a church pew. I was still spitting chunks of vanilla lavender when the first dropkick caught me. I was still spitting teeth when the bright green bootprints on my chest began to burn.
I have a lot of fun with this one, and I think it really helps, especially if you're unsure of where to go next in the plot. Just... wreck everything. I was stuck for a while trying to figure out where to go in a story I was writing. The solution? Crayons. Crayons raining from the sky with the fury of a Greek God. All the character suddenly started running for cover as the wax writing utensils began their unholy scourge on the once-calm city. I just went nuts. The crayons melted during their high-speed descent through the atmosphere and subsequently turned into molten balls of death. It suddenly turned into a zombie-apocalypse, except for instead of zombies, it was crayons.

I know, it sounds absolutely ridiculous and weird, but it really helps. Just make a copy of your story, pick a random point, and just... have at it. Go nuts. Go crazy. Like the article says, it's your story, and you are effectively the God of the universe. Why not be an insane deity for a few moments?

The whole article is here. It's really helpful. (There is some crude language in the article. Be warned.)

"So tear me open, pour me out. There's things inside that scream and shout!
And the pain still hates me, so hold me until it sleeps."

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Old February 20th, 2014 (11:22 AM).
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Nolafus Nolafus is offline
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That sounds absolutely ridiculous, I love it! XD

I don't do a lot of writing exercises myself, but I'm definitely going to be giving that a try. I can't even imagine the possibilities! All I have to say is that you know you're a writer when someone mentions a writing exercise that they do and you get really excited.

A writing exercise I've done recently is that I'll tell my friends about a topic, and they give me the details of the story. Not the exact details, but enough to get the creative juices flowing, and I'll write about that. It's nice because you don't have to come up with the topic, and it could be about anything.
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Old February 20th, 2014 (6:54 PM).
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Besides the odd drabble from a prompt (e.g. the writer's dex), I really don't do much in the way of writing exercises. I suppose NaNo would count as one, but I've always had exams and etc during that sadly. =(
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Old February 20th, 2014 (6:58 PM).
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Ehh, not in my free time or anything, but my ENC1102 teacher makes us do writing exercises to touch up on our grammar since it's not really taught in school very well.
I haver written anything in a wrong time.

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Old February 21st, 2014 (12:01 PM).
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I don't have an exercise, but I do have a zone I get into when I write. Just have to play music, smoke a bowl, relax and I'm in writing central.
I'm writing a story and I need characters and other ideas!
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Old February 21st, 2014 (1:09 PM).
LividZephyr LividZephyr is offline
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Not really. What I typically do is just write. I can't get better if I don't write what I want to focus on. Practice makes perfect, so why not practice by working rough drafts of the big one?

Still I have a LONG ways to go with this project...
This'll do for now.

Credit to whomever drew that Hilda picture. Lemme know if that's you.

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Old February 21st, 2014 (8:21 PM).
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Unfortunately this is something I really need to start working on. :( I was considering smaller pieces to help me with my lack of motivation issues but that never got off the ground. One-shots and other little things on the side to improve my writing have always interested me, though.
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Old February 23rd, 2014 (9:59 PM).
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Yukiyo Kayume Yukiyo Kayume is offline
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hmm, I don't really know...

although sometimes I listen to music and sit down and write down what the song makes me visualize - it boils down to a short story idea. c: usually these ideas are never used, though.. since they're pretty vague and yeah

Add me on! LadyDragon#1620
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