Additional workshop exercises

Here we present some additional exercises based on the more specific aspects of writing reported by the writers in our survey.

EXERCISE 1: Six steps

1. Begin writing the following scene: two people are meeting in a bar. One of them has a secret. [15 mins]

2. Continue the scene, focusing on a particular sensory modality (e.g. sight, smell, sound). [5 mins]

3. Continue the scene, but switch ‘person’ (e.g. if you have been writing in first-person, switch to third-person, or vice-versa). [5 mins]

4. Decide which actors you would ‘cast’ to play your characters. Continue writing the scene for those actors. [5 mins]

5. The actor you have chosen for your protagonist is unavailable, and instead you must use Morgan Freeman/Anthony Hopkins/Judi Dench/Winona Ryer. Continue writing the scene with this new voice. [5 mins]

6. Was there any resistance at any point? Why? Where would it have come from?

EXERCISE 2: A view from the past

Choose someone you remember from your past (e.g. teacher, a neighbour from when you were a child, etc.). Imagine them in the world as it is today (e.g. in a town centre, a train station, etc.). Write what they experience. [15 mins]

EXERCISE 3: Fragments

Choose five story ‘fragments’ from a list of seven (you can download the resources you need to generate sets of fragments here). Write a story which incorporates, or which will eventually incorporate, all five fragments.