3 Writing Exercises of Great Length
Today, I’d like to share some writing exercises based on an assignment I had to do in college, which has always stuck with me.
Writing a single, 100-word sentence sounds pretty easy, but once you sit down and actually attempt it, you’ll find out just how challenging it is, especially if you want your sentence to be grammatically correct.
You might think you can compose a lengthy sentence in just a few minutes. But you’ll soon find that it takes a little time. When you try to scale a long passage down to just a few words, that will take some time too.
Set aside about thirty minutes to tackle today’s writing exercises and see how long-winded you can be, then see how brief you can be.
All three of today’s writing exercises force you to think about word choice. Is your prose too verbose? Too meager? Could you say the same thing in fewer words?
The Writing Exercises:
1. Write one sentence that is at least one hundred words long. Here are the rules: It has to be a good sentence. You can’t use unnecessary, superfluous adjectives and adverbs. It has to make sense and sound right when read aloud. And it has to be punctuated properly. It can’t be a run-on sentence and it can’t be a series of sentences strung together with commas and semicolons (no splices!). It can be about anything, but it has to meet the word count.
2. Complete the first exercise, then rewrite the sentence in ten words or less.
You have to say the same thing using a fraction of the words. Don’t leave out any important details!
3. Here’s the combo: write two sentences — one must be exactly 70 words long and the other exactly seven words. Oh and they have to comprise a paragraph. Try it with fifty words, then five words. Twenty words, then two.
The challenge here is in contrast. You go from writing an extremely long sentence to a relatively short one, and they have to be connected in some way, so they can exist in the same paragraph.
Give it a Try!
If you decide to tackle these writing exercises, feel free to post your sentences in the comments section. Good luck, and keep writing.
Don’t forget to pick up a copy of 101 Creative Writing Exercises, available in paperback and ebook.