1) Group of writers, genres may vary
2) paper, pens or pencils
4) gift bags or wrapped presents, (each writer supplies one) containing a character, setting, and one object. (Hint: easy to remember as a person, place, and thing.) These can be pictures of people cut from magazines, old photographs, maps, ticket stubs, letters, toys, brochures, keys, silk flowers, miniatures, or practically anything.
1) Each writer selects a gift (other than his/her own) from the pile.
2) Take paper and pen and spread out writers to various locations--corners of rooms, separate rooms, etc.
3) Each writer opens gift bag, examines items.
4) Give a minute or two for writer to get situated.
5) Set timer for 15 minutes.
6) Writers create a scene inspired by the character, setting and object. Write as many words as possible in fifteen minutes. Try to include something about Christmas or other holiday if used at a themed party.
7) Give a five-minute and one-minute warning.
8) When time is up, reveal who brought each present and read your stories aloud to one another.
1) Each writer brings one object. Put them on the table and each writer creates a scene using as many objects as possible.
NOTE: Spelling and grammar do not count as no one else reads your work.
It's fun to hear the stories that other writers have created from the objects you brought. They often go off in directions that you never imagined. Our group writes across the board--romance, suspense, historical, and cozies. It was interesting to see how closely we stayed in our genre.
Try this writing exercise the next time you're with a group of writers. You'll be amazed at how much you can write in fifteen minutes. Who knows? This just might be the recipe to begin your next project.
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