Writing Exercises

Search for writing prompts or exercises into your favorite search engine and choose one that interests you. Choose several that interest you. Then follow the exercise directions. Or not, you don’t need to follow them if your muse is leading you in another direction. Writing exercises are only there to inspire you or to just give you practice.

I entered writing exercises into my search engine and got well over three million hits. You can do the same and likely get just as many. The search phrase writing prompts brought up some twenty-five million hits. you can take your choice. Just close your eyes and click, or roll some dice and check out the one to six (or twelve depending on the number of dice that you rolled)

Some people I know make writing exercises with choices and suggest that you roll dice to choose the exact scenario. That can be a fun way to exercise your creative self. However you choose to do it, it could lead you to write a piece that interests you or makes your fortune. You never know.

Sometimes an idea for a writing exercise can strike one right out of the blue. Sometimes a writing exercise can be more of a writing prompt, and others a straight exercise. This one is a straight exercise. Write an action scene in all passive voice. Then turn around and write it as all active voice. Then rewrite it in a mixture of the two. See which one makes the easiest reading. You might be surprised. That’s because passive sentences have their place in a narrative. They can slow the action and make it easier for the reader to catch its breath. Slowed action also serves to heighten tension and that makes for good suspense. That’s important as well.

The following is my attempt at the exercise I just described. Please excuse the terrible writing – I wrote this early in the morning off the top of my head.

A paragraph was written by an author. An action sequence was written in passive voice by the author. Slow and ponderous was the pace. Writing is like that when passive voice was used. What could make its writing better was pondered by the author. Passive voice was noticed by the author. Editing the work was decided on as the correct action. Active voice was chosen by the author for the form the paragraph would take.

An author wrote a paragraph. The paragraph was an action sequence and the author wrote it in active voice. The pace was too fast and hard to maintain. Passive voice slows work, while active voice moves it along. The author thought about how to make it better. It thought about both active and passive voice. The author decided to use a mix of passive and active voice to control the pace of the work.

An author wrote a paragraph. It was an action sequence and the author decided to use a mix of active and passive sentences. Pacing was controlled by the sentence structure. The author looked over its work and was pleased.

Give it a try. it’s harder than it looks.


I am not one who is comfortable talking about myself but here goes. I enjoy writing, family history, and reading. I decided to do this blog because I wanted to try something new. I decided to make it a weekly blog because I wasn't sure that I could keep up with a daily one, and monthly seemed like I was writing a magazine. I think I did ok with my choices. You'll notice that there are not a lot of graphics on my site. That's because there are graphics plastered everywhere on the Internet and those sites sometimes take forever to load. This blog is a place where you can kick back, relax and be ready to be amused. At least I hope I willbamuse you. This blog is on a variety of subjects from my ficitional cat agency, the FFL, which is monthly, to instructional blogs to editorials, which are my opinions only. I admit that I don't know everything and could be wrong -- I frequently am. Now, stop reading about me and read what I have to say!

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Posted in Writing Techniques

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© Lisa Hendrickson and Pebblepup's Writing Den, 2010-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lisa Hendrickson and Pebblepup's Writing Den with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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