Here is a series of creative writing tips that can be done in ten minutes each and you can even fit some of them in on your way home from work or when you are out for a quick coffee!
- Eavesdrop! Buses and cafes are fantastic for subtly eavesdropping on face to face or phone conversations. You don’t have to see the person who is talking, just listen to a couple of sentences and jot them down. When you get 10 minutes, set your alarm and free flow the continuation of their conversation, brainstorm who the characters involved in the conversations may be and/or use the dialogue to trigger a story. What is going on here? What is the back story? Who is involved? Where is it set etc?
- Pick a colour, any colour and go for a walk. As you are walking, look out for everything in this colour. This can be done as part of your daily commute to the bus stop/tube etc. Afterwards, spend 10 minutes writing. To get you started, you could use the title ‘I see’ and begin by writing about who or what you saw on your walk. If you go off track as you write and memories/associations are triggered, that is fine. It will be interesting to see where it takes you.
- Don’t be afraid of poetry! Grab old newspapers and magazines, a pair of scissors, glue, plain paper and pens. Without thinking too much, cut up words that jump out at you. Then place the words on the paper and move them around as you wish. Fill in gaps with your own writing. You don’t have to stick to a particular poetic structure, just have fun. I am sure you will have a poem you are pleased with at the end. Start with 10 minutes and if you need more time, fine but don’t spend time worrying!
- Be inspired by novels! Pick up any novel from around the house or the library that you haven’t read, or don’t remember very well and read the first paragraph. Set your clock for ten minutes and continue writing. It is always interesting and fun to see where it goes. It is great to try this with a few different novels, to get used to writing in different styles.
- Fantastic writing inspiration can be found from portrait photos and postcards (newspapers and magazines are great for this too). Build up a collection of people that you find interesting. Pick one and create a character from scratch. If you wish, you can start with ‘I am’ in the voice of your new character, writing for ten minutes in their voice. What do you find out about them?!
Nichola Charalambou is the Founder of Creative Writes – creative writing workshops for adults and children, which run regularly in Muswell Hill, Crouch End and the surrounding areas. www.creativewrites.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org 07941 091 313