Tag Archives: writing activities

Another Fun Writing Excercise

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Raising a Writer

For something fun that can help break you out of a rut when you’re stuck, try going through the dictionary for a bunch of interesting words, and then put them together into a poem or story. You never know exactly what you will end up with.

The Reverie

in my reverie i rode along the zodiac
past scorpio and sagittarius
i heard the zither play
i was sitting with xerxes
eating grapes, discussing the zeitgeist of zoroastrianism
drinking some sort of zymurgy
when the wind rushed through my soul
then, i was riding on a camel
with a yemen sheikh
past men in yarmulke
praying at the wall
in a caravan to zaire or zambia or zanzibar
with a bunch of xenophobiacs
a zulu warrior and his pet zebu
a zouave munching zwiebacks
making zounds to crush the yahoos of spain
and suddenly the world expanded
and i was blown like a leaf
into the xylem of a yucca
bringing me to stand
in the peyote hut of a zuni warrior chief
in a sand painting of the clouds
racing through the sky in a zeppelin on a zephyr
when i came up out of the ocean
off the coast of guam
with water in my snorkel and zoophytes on my arms
and a bad case of the bends.

You can also try words that only start with a particular letter for a fun excercise in alliteration:

Anopheles

Avast! The axial anopheles lurking in the azalea
avaricious in its ardor of
the aliphatic crimson heat;
his greedy brain’s abaci
prematurely counting out his prize.

Rising to the apex
of his azimuth—
a fleshy airdrome
agog—an amateurish astrogator
on the aphelion of grace
actuating his annular descent
an agnostic tourist visiting Alsace-Lorraine;
an aquanaut exploring depths
never before explored

He paid no heed to the accelerometer
Paid no heed to the slapping hands . . .
He gleefully dodged them, refusing to abdicate,
But to no avail—buzzing through the arnica
At last arriving at the abattoir
Of his apoplectic end

(Now, wasn’t that way more fun than just saying the circling mosquito got smacked? Take it and run!)

A Great Exercise for Writing Dialogue

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series Kid Quotes

Writing down funny things that people say and writing them just how they were said is a good writing exercise. When I taught school, I would have the kids eavesdrop and write down conversations in a notebook and then we would change the context a little, or change the words slightly to create dialogue for a story that they were working on. I like writing down quotes by my kids, and collecting them from other people I know. They make great fodder for stories :) Here are a few funny quotes by kids I know:

Alex (age 4): Mom, do you like it when people do things for you? I do, but there’s some stuff people have to do themselves – like sitting on the toilet or blowing your nose. But I wish someone could go to the bathroom for me, cause I hate going poop!

Alexisms: easy as cake, lickety slip

Alex (age 4): easy as a piece of cake.
Mom: don’t you mean easy as pie?
Alex: no, I do it in the cake kind of way.

Alex (age 4): Mooooom! Jake pinched me as hard as I dropped a rock on my toe!

Zee (age 3): Dang it!
Mom: What?
Zeeh: My Pixar! Bee just freezed it with her freezing power!

Mom: I really wish you wouldn’t have done that!
Niece (age 3): Mom, I’m not yours fairy!