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I decided to organize a weekly creative writing exercise in the office to sharpen the skills of the writing pool. Everyone takes a turn inventing an exercise or a prompt.

The only general rule we've been using is that it should be doable in an hour or so. We've also tried to keep things fun.

Please feel free to share your own exercise efforts by leaving a comment. You can do that at the end of each exercise by clicking on 'Share your own effort'. Enjoy!

Writing Exercises Quick Links
Write an Obama Speech
Wordlplay, Anagram as Inspiration
Strictly Dialogue
Character Sketch
An Article of Clothing
The Truth
Press Release
Creative Description
Paired Fiction Writing
Connecting Ideas
Writing in Persona
Point of View
Interior Monologue
Body Language
Alternate Ending
Book Cover
Horror Writing
Dialogue 3
Dialogue 2
Nanofiction Writing
Writing Without Adjectives
Love Letters
Fictional Monologue
TV Show Opening Monologue
Short Story, Object as Narrator
Speech Writing
Tongue Twister
Suspense and Emotion
Describe and Compose
Poetic Confession
Application letter
Essays of Absurdities
Dialogue with Self
Imaginative Writing
Short Story from Cartoon
Five Random Words
Letter of Complaint

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Exercise 14 - Minimalism

Instructions from Mark Lorenzana, today's exercise facilitator:


I've always believed that less is more which is why I consider Ernest Hemingway one of my favorite writers.  He is the master of minimalism with his distinctive writing style characterized by economy of words and understatement. Recently I got hooked on stories by post-modern minimalist authors such as Amy Hempel, Donald Barthelme, and Raymond Carver. Their stories are my inspiration for this writing activity.


This exercise is deceptively simple, yet challenging. Your task is to write a short-short story with exactly 10 sentences, and ONLY ten sentences. The first sentence must contain exactly 10 words, the next 9, and so on, until the final sentence of just one word.


The discipline of being allowed a limited number of lines and words, like haiku, heightens our awareness of language and is a great lesson in economy of words, which is very useful in writing copy. And, who knows, what we write for this exercise might even become the basis for a longer piece. It can also lend itself to nonsense, which is not always a bad thing, considering that most of the Marketing guys especially Tomas, Victor, Michael, Gino, and me enjoy blurting out gibberish.


Here's an example of the "countdown" story.


Woody's War


10 I cannot kill the black cat in the back yard.

9 He stalks, and struts, and flaunts his fat tail.

8 I've seen his brazen paw-marks on the car.

7 I know he fouls each growing bush.

6 I dream red dreams of vengeance.

5 Tail high, taunting, he passes.

4 I'm helpless, he knows.

3 My fury's pent.

2 The screen--!

1 Meow.




Below is what I was able to cobble together.



Ice Cream


Casting guilty glances sideways, I steal furtive and lustful looks.

Behind the counter, nestled in gossamer mist sits seduction.

Ice cream colors in luscious parade torture me.

I must have some or suffer torment.

Lips moisten as my knuckles pale.

In the end, I surrender.

A craving too overwhelming.

The avalanche begins.

Blissful indulgence.


Posted at 03:40 pm by bisoy

I'm the motherfucking Princess
May 23, 2008   09:02 AM PDT
Mi amor
todo en ti es buena vibe
cuando miro el brillo de tus ojos
y te escucho en toda el alma
siento la sintonia y harmonia
y todo mi cuerpo temble,
mi corazon late
y mi alma grita
mas que todo
te amo
April 15, 2008   11:52 AM PDT
sharing this with my exercise mates here. thanks.
April 14, 2008   03:26 PM PDT
Title: For whom Death revolves

10 - I am not Russian but the devil I know is.
9 - I owe debts. To settle, we deal death roulette.
8 - We played three hours, how lucky we are.
7 - Five bullets loaded, one chamber remains free.
6 - He laughs as the hammer falls.
5 - It strikes the hollow chamber.
4 - It's my roll now.
3 - I pull, click!
2 - His turn.
1 - Bang!

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