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By Johannes Helmold

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If you want to sharpen your writing skills or have a good ‘ol time, try out some of these writing tasks:

  • 10 word stories

    Try to write a whole story in 10 words. That’s right—struggle to make a whole novel as concise as possible. This is excellent practice in being concise and eliminating fluff in writing.


    Born-addict does drugs until almost dead—trauma results in sainthood.

  • Automatic writing

    Can you write nonstop for 5 minutes? 10 minutes? Take the automatic writing challenge by writing anything for a set time. It could be random stuff flying from your brain onto paper, or it could be topic-based. Either way, let the words roll.

    It is a blast to do automatic writing in a group, where everyone shares their automatic writing after each session. It is kind of like a psychological look into your friends and their wackiness.

  • Fill-in-the-blank text

    You can buy fill-in-the-blank books, or you can write your own fill-in-the-blank texts. It is funnest to do this activity in a group environment. Usually, the blanks are set for verbs, nouns, adjectives, and so on. A friend of yours can ask for certain words to be filled in, while you can’t see the actual text. It makes for a random story and maybe some inspiration in the process.

  • Rewrite a famous or favorite book

    Start copying from one your favorite books or a famous book, like a New York Times bestseller. Start adding your own details, change the character’s names, and essentially write your own version of the book. You might write your own book this way (though if you want it to get published, you got to change a lot to avoid copyright issues).

    Rewriting famous lines and sentences is a common practice among professional writers. Sometimes the rewrites strongly allude to the original work (like parody) and sometimes they slightly allude to the original work as an act of homage.

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    Comments (2)

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    Angie Koh May 10, 2016

    Thanks, great suggestions!

    Nicholas Klacsanzky July 15, 2016

    You’re welcome 🙂


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