If you’ve always wanted to be a better writer, do not worry. There are now specific writing exercises for adults that can help you greatly improve your writing skills and the tasks are a lot easier than you think. When exercises are specifically developed for adults, they will teach you a lot of important things. This is true regardless of your current level of experience because there is always room to learn more.
Below are just a few of these adult-centered writing exercises.
Utilizing the Dictionary
This is an easy exercise because all you do is open the dictionary to a random page. Once you get there, choose a word that you are unfamiliar with and write a fictitious definition for it. Keep writing until you have written one that you deem interesting. It doesn’t matter if it’s the right definition because it will teach you something about yourself every time!
Take a magazine and cut out words and phrases that you think are interesting. Cut out lots of them! Afterwards, place all of the pieces in a bowl and randomly choose two of the pieces. Based on these two words only, write a short 250-word mini-story. You can even use this mini-story as the perfect beginning for your next book!
Selling Your Lizard
Imagine that you keep a large lizard as a pet and you’re trying to sell it. Write an advertisement trying to do just that. Remember to use descriptive words and don’t make it too wordy. Writing ads and promotional materials is more complex than you think but it teaches you a lot about writing in general. You can do this for other unusual animals as well — even a pig or boa constrictor!
Using Advertisements to Get Started
In this exercise, choose two separate print ads and place them side by side. Next, pretend that you’re writing a novel but you can only use the words printed in those two ads. Write as much as you can without stopping but remember that you can only use words that are contained in the ads.
Changing Your Appearance
For this assignment, you have to write a mini-story but there is a catch. You must use first-person and you have to change your gender, age, or ethnic background. This is a great way to see things from another person’s point of view, which will naturally help you become a better writer in the end.
10 x 10 x 10
This is a simple exercise. You start out by choosing the tenth book off your shelf, then looking at the tenth sentence of the tenth page of the book. Take that sentence, create a whole new paragraph, and use only ten lines to do so. Keep repeating this until you can choose the one that you like best.
Describe a Very Special “First”
Think about an important first in your life. This can be your first kiss, your first day of school, or your first car. Describe it in great detail until you have a great mini-story. You might even have the makings for a short story or novella. All you have to do is think about how special that “first” was and keep on writing!
Travel the World
Take out an atlas or world map, then randomly place your finger somewhere on the map. Next, pretend that you are a travel writer and write an article or blog about that particular location. Include something unique, such as writing about something that happened to you in that country which was sort of odd. Most of all, have fun!
Letter to… Me!
Sit down and write a letter to your future self. This is a great exercise if your ultimate goal is to write non-fiction. Think about what you’d like to say to your future self and write all of it down. Be descriptive and, most of all, be honest.
Think about something important that happened in your life and start writing. Once you start writing, you can let your memories take over to help you write. It doesn’t have to be anything special. If you consider it important, you can write about it. The more important it is to you, the easier it should be to write about it.
Practice Writing a Haiku
Practice writing the perfect haiku. Haikus consist of three lines, described below:
- The first line has five syllables.
- The second line has seven syllables.
- The third line has five syllables.
Also keep in mind that haikus are non-rhyming; they usually concentrate on nature and expressing deep concepts in a simple manner.
Write a Limerick
Limericks are a lot of fun to write. They are light-hearted, always rhyme, and have few hard-and-fast rules. Typically, the first, second, and fifth lines rhyme, and the third and fourth lines do as well. In addition, the third and fourth lines are typically shorter than the other three. Practice writing limericks for ten minutes and see what you can come up with.
Unique Character Descriptions
Using physical descriptions, write about a person’s distinct personality. Describe that personality only through his or her physical appearance. An example would be, “evil spewed from his eyes and mouth.” Spend 20 to 30 minutes writing various character descriptions and use techniques such as similes and metaphors for best results.
The First Sentence Matters
After you do this exercise, you’ll understand why the first sentence of a book is so important. To start, simply write the first few sentences of a book and see what results from it. Read what you wrote afterwards and ask yourself “if I was reading this sentence, would I want to continue reading the book?”
A Time-Travel Exercise
Write about your current self, your past self, and your future self being in a room together. For this time travel exercise, write what each of them would say to one another, complete with detailed quotes from each of them. Picture them talking to one another and come up with ideas regarding what they would talk about throughout their conversation.
New Year’s Resolution for a Fictitious Person
In this exercise, you will be writing down three to five New Year’s resolutions for someone who you have simply made up. This is perfect for people interested in writing fiction. If you prefer non-fiction, simply choose a well-known celebrity and make up that person’s New Year’s resolutions.
The End of Time
One of the most interesting writing exercises for adults, this one requires you to write about how you think the world will end. Describe how it will end and what you would do on your very last day if you knew that the end of the world was coming. Action and emotion should be used to catch the reader’s attention.
You as a Younger Person
Instead of writing to your future self as some exercises require, write a letter to your younger self. Think about your experiences up to that point and the mistakes you made; try to share some of this knowledge with the person you once were. It can even be written to the person you were just a few years ago, not necessarily who you were as a child.
Describe Where You Are Now
Wherever you are physically, write about that location. Describe it in specific detail and mention where you’re sitting, which objects are surrounding you, and what is happening in the room at the moment. Try to make these descriptions very detailed and practice your writing skills through these detailed descriptions.
Write About What You Know
This is common sense but in this exercise, you can write about something difficult or something very easy to do. If you’re an expert at washing your car, write about that. If you’re good at selling cars, you can write about that. Regardless of its complexity, writing about what you know and are good at is a great way to learn to write better.
Rewrite Another Story
Think of a story that was told to you by another person and simply rewrite the story. It doesn’t have to be something unusual or even interesting. By rewriting another story, you learn to be creative above all else. It also teaches you how to take a basic idea and write a story around it. It’s the perfect writing exercise.
A Life-Defining Moment
Think about a person or event that you feel changed your life and write about it. Describe in detail why that time in your life was so significant and write about every detail. Include how this person or event made you feel and why you consider this to be such an important part of your life. Make sure that your heart and soul go into this assignment.
From Another Person’s Point of View
Write a story using someone else’s point of view. You can choose someone who you know personally or simply make up a character. Either way, consider what this person is thinking, feeling, and seeing about a certain scenario. You can make up the scenario as well but the important thing is to write everything from that person’s point of view.
A Mixture of Characters
Think about the personality of someone you know, then think about the physical characteristics of someone completely different. You’re thinking of two separate individuals but you’re going to write a story as if they are one person. It’s a great exercise and it makes for a very interesting writing piece!
A Letter to Your Literary Agent
Pretend that you are looking for a literary agent to represent you so that you can get your book published. Build yourself up without going overboard and include details about both the book and your skills as a writer. Make sure that it isn’t too long; in fact, one single-spaced page is enough. Of all of the writing exercises for adults, this one is one of the most practical ones to master.
Pick a book from your bookshelf and open it to a random chapter. Write down the first sentence of that chapter plus the last sentence of the following chapter. Write the middle section of that story yourself, making sure that the first and last sentences make sense after your story is finished.
Fairy Tales That Prove a Different Point
Take a well-known fairy tale and rewrite it. This time, write the story from the bad guy’s point of view. Include the bad guy’s feelings and motives. You can even change the ending if you like. The important thing to remember is that every word of the story has to be from the bad guy’s perspective.
Eavesdropping Has its Perks
The next time that you’re in a public place, eavesdrop on a nearby conversation. When you get home, take some of the information you heard and turn it into a love story. You can change what the people said if you need to but use the gist of what you heard to make it a love story now.
It All Starts with a Title
For this exercise, think up ten book title suggestions. You don’t have to think up suggestions for what the books are about; just write down ideas for book titles. When you’re finished, you may actually have some great ideas for how to move forward with your next writing project! Even if you don’t, it is still a great exercise.
A Most Beautiful Place
Think about the most beautiful place you’ve ever been to and write about that. Use a lot of details regarding how the place looks and include why you consider it such a beautiful place. In addition to learning to use adjectives well, you’ll also get a good lesson in creativity and basic storytelling.
Take a memorable moment and write a poem based on that event. Make the poem a certain length — for instance, 20 lines — so that the exercise is more of a challenge. You’ll likely have to make up a character or two but keep the basic facts of the event realistic.
Assistance From the Media
For this exercise, turn on your radio or television set and write down the very first line you hear after turning it on. Based on that sentence, write a story. You can get as creative as you like. Just make sure that your story is based off of that first line you heard after turning on your radio or TV.
Here’s to the Ridiculous
Think about five things that are totally ridiculous but that you’d like to try. It doesn’t matter how crazy they are. Just take those five things and write a story about them, going into detail about each of the items. Don’t forget to include the reason why you’d like to try these things. You can also change the number if you like because it doesn’t have to include five things.
A World of Clichés
The world is filled with clichés, most of which people think that they can relate to. However, in this exercise, you take a cliché and write an argument against it. It’s a little more challenging if you choose a cliché that is positive and upbeat but you can take any cliché and use it for this exercise.
Have you ever written a story from the point of view of an inanimate object? Now is your chance to find out! Pick anything in your home — a lamp, a piece of furniture, or even an appliance — and write a short story or paragraph from that item’s point of view. It is guaranteed to be both interesting and amusing.
A Headline Says a Lot
Pick up a copy of your newspaper and pick out a headline. Take the first word of that headline and write a sentence using the word. The sentence doesn’t even have to make sense. Then, take the second word of the headline and do the same. Do the same thing for every word in the headline; when you’re finished, go back and look at the sentences you wrote. Are there any that you could use to come up with a good storyline?
Incidents Can Give You Ideas
Think back on an incident that recently happened to you. It doesn’t have to be anything significant; it just has to be an incident. Start writing about the incident except that this time you will write about it from the point of view of someone else who was involved in it. It will be interesting to read the final results.
Pick a Color, Any Color
Choose a color at random, then go for a 15-minute walk. Take a notepad with you and write down everything you see in that color. When you get back home, write a description of everything you wrote down. This exercise teaches you a lot about how well you remember and observe everyday things.
No Touching Allowed
Everybody has things they do not like to touch. Think of five or six things that you hate the feel of and list five to six adjectives to describe those things. You can also do the same exercise using the other senses such as things that you hate to smell, see, hear, and taste.
The Beauty of Nature
Think of something that is part of nature. It can be a tree, the grass, a butterfly, or anything else. Write about that object and describe why you hate it. Then, turn around and write another article; however, this time, describe why you love it. It’s two sides of the same coin and it goes a long way in improving your writing skills.
Dialogue Is Important
If you ever write a book, chances are good that you’ll need to know how to write dialogue that is both interesting and realistic. For this exercise, you just write 300 words of dialogue. It doesn’t matter what your characters are saying to one another; just write the dialogue as if it were really happening. Concentrate also on making it as realistic as possible.
One Item Can Get You Started
This is one of the most basic writing exercises for adults because of its simplicity. Take a subject or item that you got from your newspaper or even a magazine and write an entire article on it. It could come from a letter to the editor or even a small blurb printed somewhere in the publication. Just take an idea and go with it, trying to write enough to consider it an article.
Utilize Writing Prompts
Writing prompts are short topics that you use to write a story around. You can find writing prompts everywhere on the Internet and they make your writing a whole lot easier. Once you choose the topic you want, you can write the story any way that you want to but the prompts make getting started much simpler and faster.
Any Genre Will Do
For this exercise, you simply choose a genre that you are unfamiliar with and write a short article with it. If you’re used to writing love stories, choose to write a short article or story on a topic related to horror. It doesn’t have to be a long story or article; just make sure that it’s a genre you’ve never written about in the past.
The Basics of Writing
Choose a noun, an adjective, and a verb and write an article or story based on those three words. To make it even more interesting, choose an adjective, verb, and noun that are totally random from one another. Even though they are random, however, you still have to write about those three words in context as well as make the entire story flow well.
Person, Place, and Thing
You start this exercise by taking a sheet of paper and making three columns. In the first column, make a list of people and list as many as you can think of. In the second column, write down a list of places and write down a list of things in the third column. To start writing, pick one from each column at random and write a story based on those items.
This is one of the most common writing exercises for adults and it is simple to do. Simply take a sheet of paper or open up a word-processing document on your computer. Then, start writing or typing even if you have no clue what you’re going to say. Just put pen to paper or your hands on the keyboard and begin the adventure. You’ll be surprised at how easily the ideas will flow once you get started.
Music Soothes the Soul
To try a new writing experience, think about one of your favorite songs and consider the main emotion behind it. Whatever that emotion is, start writing on it. You can start by inventing a character who is experiencing that particular emotion and then describe how he or she feels while listening to the song.
Objects Can Be Beautiful or Ugly
For this exercise, choose an object that you consider ugly or unattractive. Invent a character who considers the object beautiful and write your story through that person’s point of view. Describe in detail why that person thinks the item is so beautiful, using emotions to appeal to your readers.
Fear Is a Powerful Emotion
Think of five or six things that you are afraid of and write a story about how one person confronted those same fears and beat them. It can be anything that you are scared of and writing the story is very likely to allow you to face these fears yourselves with great results.
People You Dislike Count as Well
Think of a person you dislike and make that person a minor character in a story. Then, have your main character meet that person and actually like him or her. Make sure that you include descriptions of your minor character’s good points and attributes, which will likely help you see a separate side of that person in the end.
Kookiness Makes it More Fun
Create a kooky character. It doesn’t matter how he or she actually is; just make sure that the character is as silly and quirky as possible. Next, write about that person as he or she reads something aloud. It can be any type of reading material that you choose, including an email, a textbook chapter, an instruction manual, or even the weather report. You’ll likely get some very interesting results!
Drunk as a Skunk
Create a character who is drunk and write about the day that person is having as a drunkard. Describe in detail the person as he or she goes through an ordinary day trying to do ordinary things. Describe how difficult it is to do those things and how the person feels, acts, and thinks while doing them.
There are hundreds of ways to get ideas for writing well and most of them can be found online. Most of the time, all writers need is a simple way to get started and the rest is fairly simple. Once you find a basic idea or theme, you can easily go from there and create a great story.
In addition, writing is very similar to other skills in that the more you do it, the better you’ll be at it. Writing takes practice and this is what you need most of all when you want to be a great writer.