Poetry Writing Exercises: Lost in Translation

Poetry writing exercises

Poetry writing exercises: blind translations.

Language is a funny thing, and translations are neither as simple nor as straightforward as we might want them to be.

Years ago, when I was learning Spanish (I never did master it), on an especially warm day, I wanted to say, “I’m hot,” which is a standard expression in English. But when I said the phrase, “Yo soy caliente” to my Spanish-speaking cousin, he laughed and warned me not to go around using that phrase. Apparently in Spanish, this expression has to do with lust, not the temperature.

I learned a valuable lesson that day: translation requires more than looking up words in a language dictionary. Read more

Writing Exercises with Metaphors

writing exercises with metaphors

Writing exercises using metaphors. Creative Commons License photo credit: franzi ♥ PHOTOS on Flickr.

A while back, I wrote a post that had nothing to do with food, but food became a running metaphor while I was revising. The food metaphor was so delicious (or maybe I was so hungry) that I rewrote the entire post with food on the brain.

The blog posts that I write with metaphors always get a lot of positive feedback and everyone seems to embrace them. So I thought why not make writing exercises out of metaphors?

So, what makes metaphors work?

The most effective metaphors trigger our senses by connecting an otherwise intangible subject to sight, sound, smell, touch, or taste. If you can engage any of these senses through metaphor, your writing will take on new life. Not only will it become more entertaining and more memorable, it will be easier for readers to relate to what you’re saying. Read more

From 101 Creative Writing Exercises: You’re the Expert

creative writing exercises

From 101 Creative Writing Exercises: You’re the Expert.

Here’s a creative writing exercise from 101 Creative Writing Exercises, a book that takes writers on an inspired journey through different forms and genres of writing while offering comprehensive writing techniques, practical experience, and ideas for publishable projects.

Each chapter focuses on a different form or concept: freewriting, journaling, fiction, poetry, creativity, and article writing are all covered.

Today, we’ll take a peek at “Chapter Ten: Article and Blog Writing” with an exercise called “You’re the Expert.” Enjoy!

You’re the Expert

You know a little bit about a lot of things, but there are a few things you know a lot about. And knowledge is power. Read more

From 101 Creative Writing Exercises: Haiku

101 creative writing exercises - haiku

Haiku, from 101 Creative Writing Exercises.

Today’s writing exercise comes from my book, 101 Creative Writing Exercises, which takes writers on an exciting journey through different forms and genres while providing writing techniques, practical experience, and inspiration.

Each chapter focuses on a different form or writing concept: freewriting, journaling, memoirs, fiction, storytelling, form poetry, free verse, characters, dialogue, creativity, and article and blog writing are all covered.

Today, we’ll take a peek at “Chapter Seven: Form Poetry” with a poetry exercise simply called “Haiku.” Enjoy! Read more

From 101 Creative Writing Exercises: What’s Your Superpower?

creative writing exercises - your superpower

Discover your superpower by doing creative writing exercises.

Today, I’d like to share a fun exercise from my book 101 Creative Writing Exercises.

The book is packed with writing exercises that encourage you to explore different forms and genres while you discover useful writing techniques. You’ll find plenty of inspiration throughout the book with ideas for projects you can eventually publish.

Today’s exercise is from chapter 11, “Creativity.” It’s called “What’s Your Superpower?” Enjoy! Read more

Fiction Writing Exercises: Change the Tail

Fiction writing exercises: change the tail

Change the tail on these fiction writing exercises.

Fiction writing exercises improve your writing by challenging you, providing you with fresh ideas, and forcing you to approach fiction writing from new angles.

This is a flexible writing exercise that could also be called Change the Tale. But in this exercise, we’re going to change the tale by changing the tail.

The idea is to take an existing plot and change the ending to make it completely different. This will help you understand the basics of story structure, particularly the part where you bring the story to a close.

Take the tail end off a story, right after the climax, and change it to something else. Choose a story from a book, magazine, newspaper, or film, and change the ending! Read more

From 101 Creative Writing Exercises: Body Language

101 creative writing exercises - Body Language

Take a peek at “Body Language” from 101 Creative Writing Exercises.

101 Creative Writing Exercises is a collection of creative writing exercises that takes writers on a journey through different forms and genres while providing writing techniques, practical experience, and inspiration.

Each exercise teaches a specific concept, and each chapter focuses on a different subject or form of writing: journaling, storytelling, fiction, poetry, article writing, and more. Every exercise is designed to be practical. In other words, you can use these exercises to launch projects that are destined for publication.

Today, I’d like to share one of my favorite exercises from the book. This is from “Chapter Four: Speak Up,” which focuses on dialogue and scripts. The exercise is called “Body Language.” Enjoy! Read more

Flash Fiction Writing Exercises

flash fiction writing exercises

Try these flash fiction writing exercises.

These fiction writing exercises are designed to help fiction writers shave away the fluff and reveal the bare bones of a piece of fiction.

We’ll start with one exercise that will help you assess the core structure of a story and then explore a few bonus flash fiction writing exercises that are good for developing concise writing.

What is Flash Fiction?

Flash fiction is a short story that is extremely brief. There is no official word limit, but generally, stories of fewer than 1000-2000 words would fall under the flash category. Read more

Writing Exercises: Freewriting

writing exercises in freewriting

FREE writing exercises (literally).

One of the most valuable writing exercises I learned in college was freewriting.

When you sit down with a pen and paper and let words flow freely, amazing things can happen.

At first, freewriting is a bit of a struggle, but if you stick with it, you will produce some gems. The trick is to get out of the way, and let your subconscious take over. Most writing exercises ask you to think. This one requires you do anything but that.

Freewriting is not like other writing exercises; it allows you to generate written material for a variety of projects. It can also help you clear your head or tap into your deeper thoughts. Read more

From 101 Creative Writing Exercises: Couplets and Quatrains

Couplets and quatrains

Couplets and quatrains, a poetry writing exercise.

Today’s writing exercise comes from 101 Creative Writing Exercises, which takes writers on an adventure through different forms and genres while offering tools, techniques, and inspiration for writers.

Each chapter focuses on a different form or writing concept: freewriting, journaling, memoirs, fiction, storytelling, form poetry, free verse, characters, dialogue, creativity, and article and blog writing are all covered.

Today, we’ll take a peek at “Chapter Seven: Form Poetry” with a poetry exercise called “Couplets and Quatrains.” Enjoy!

Couplets and Quatrains, a Poetry Writing Exercise

Poetry may not be the most widely read or published form of writing these days, but it’s probably the most widely written.

Despite the lack of enthusiasm for the form among readers and publishers, poetry still has a traditional place in our culture. You’ll hear poetry read at most significant events, such as weddings, funerals, graduation ceremonies, and presidential inaugurations. Poetry is the foundation for most children’s books, and it’s so closely related to songwriting that in many cases, it’s hard to tell the difference between a poem and a song lyric. Read more

From 101 Creative Writing Exercises: Rock and Rhyme (Poetry)

101 creative writing exercises - Rock and Rhyme

From 101 Creative Writing Exercises: Rock and Rhyme Poetry.

Today’s post features an exercise from my book, 101 Creative Writing Exercises, which is filled with exercises for various forms of writing, including fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. It will inspire you while imparting useful writing techniques that are fun and practical.

This exercise comes from “Chapter Eight: Free Verse.” The creative writing exercises in this chapter focus on free-form poetry writing.

I chose this exercise because it’s fun and inspiring. It asks you to use a song as a foundation for writing a poem. Many song lyrics are poems in their own right. This exercise focuses on rhyming, but it also shows you how to look at your writing’s musicality and encourages you to think about rhythm and meter in your work.

Give it a try, then come back and tell us what you learned. Feel free to share the poems or lyrics that you write from this exercise in the comments section. Read more

Poetry Writing Exercises: Alliteration and Assonance

poetry writing exercises

Poetry writing exercises: alliteration and assonance.

Today’s poetry writing exercise is an excerpt from 101 Creative Writing Exercises.

The exercises in 101 Creative Writing Exercises encourage you to experiment with different forms and genres while providing inspiration for publishable projects and imparting useful writing techniques that make your writing more robust.

This poetry writing exercise is from “Chapter Eight: Free Verse.” It’s titled “Alliteration and Assonance.” This exercise covers two literary devices that make your writing more rhythmic and memorable. Enjoy! Read more