The other day, I went to go write with a friend. He suggested this writing exercise that turned out to be as productive as it was fun. It’s especially helpful if you, like me, have trouble getting started and showing your work to others. All you need is a pen, paper, and a buddy. Here’s what you do!
* Person 1 writes a few sentences down…five or six lines or so…the exact length is not important. It can be anything.
* Person 1 folds the paper so that you can only see the last line that was written, and passes it to Person 2. It’s okay if it’s not a full sentence.
* Based off of that line, Person 2 writes a few sentences, and repeats the process.
* Keep going back and forth like this until the paper is filled.
* Read it out loud!
I did a modified version of this last night with two other people. It was the same basic idea, except we all wrote at the same time so everyone would have something to do, and passed the papers around the circle. We changed the direction of the circle at one point for variety.
Some of them were serious, others hilariously absurd. Some parts cohesive, some seemingly random. I love this exercise because of the lack of pressure involved. It’s a great way to create something with others in a short amount of time, and exercise your self-expression muscles. Also, it’s fun to hear everyone’s personality come through their writing…a fun and fulfilling interaction between old friends or new.
As far as my own contributions, some sections didn’t do much more for me than fill space. I was proud of a few others, and may use them as springboards for short stories…Try it and see what comes out! Do you have other writing exercises you like to do?
**Edit** This is a version of exquisite corpse, by the way!