1. Go see a movie. Now recreate a scene in that movie from your favorite character’s point of view. What were they thinking? Why did they do what they did? How did they feel?
  2. Here are 3 first lines taken from famous books:
  3. *Herman Broder turned over and opened one eye.

    -Enemies, A Love Story, Isaac Bashevis Singer.

    *You better not tell nobody but God.

    - The Color Purple, Alice Walker

    *I see . . .” said the vampire, and slowly he walked across the room toward the window.

    - Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice

    Choose one and copy it down.
    Now make up the rest of the story in five pages or less.

  4. Eavesdrop while a stranger is on the phone. Copy down whatever they say. Make up what the other person is saying, creating a dialogue exchange.
  5. This is probably the most common writing exercise around, but it always elicits great sensory detail and it’s fun every time. Empty your friend’s pockets (with permission). Or his/her locker, refrigerator, or backpack. Describe what you see in detail. What do the items smell like? Feel like? Keep your list and use it in a story.
  6. Spend a day in an environment that is unfamiliar. It could be a hair salon, a construction site, or a busy office. Take a notebook and write down details about what people look like, how they dress, speak, and move. What sounds do you hear? Describe what’s on the walls, what objects you see. I recently had fun with this one after spending a day riding the subways of New York.