Story Writing Exercises 1312: Monday 22nd Jan

Here are your four story exercises for today. If you enjoy these prompts (or are looking to improve your writing or submit a manuscript), do take a look at my online courses… five are currently half price and the other two are FREE (when using coupon codes)!

Time yourself for 15 minutes for each one, then either have a break or move on to the next one. When you’ve finished, do pop over to this blog’s Facebook Group and let everyone know how you got on.

Below are the four – you can do them in any order.

  1. Keywords: oxygen, unit, hook, machine, pray
  2. Random: warmed up blood
  3. Picture: what does this inspire?
  4. Monday Monologue: your character is hoping for a change

Have fun, and if you would like to, do paste your writing in the comment boxes below so we can see how you got on! Remember though that it counts as being published so don’t post anything that you would want to submit elsewhere (where they require unpublished).

See below for explanations of the prompts, they do vary…

  • Sentence starts = what they say on the tin. You can start the beginning of the story with them or a later sentence but they’re a great way of kicking off.
  • Keywords = the words have to appear in the story but can be in any order and can be lengthened (e.g. clap to clapping).
  • One-word prompt = sometimes all it takes is one word to spawn an idea. Sometimes it easy, sometimes hard but invariably fun.
  • Mixed bag = two characters, an object, a location, a dilemma, a trait. Mix them all together and you have a plot… hopefully.
  • First person piece or monologue (a one-sided conversation).
  • Dialogue only = this is where you literally just write a conversation between two people. No ‘he said’, ‘she said’ or description, just speech and the reader has to be able to keep up. 🙂
  • Second-person = some of you will know that I champion. The prompt can be in any style but has to be written in second-person viewpoint… oh, what a hardship. 🙂
  • Title: This is the title of your story.
  • Picture prompts = nothing other than a picture. What does it conjure up?
  • Random = whatever takes my fancy!


  • Don’t forget your five senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, smell
  • Show don’t tell: if your character is angry, don’t tell us he is, have him thumping his fist on the table.
  • Colours: Include at least one colour in your story. It does add depth.
  • Use strong verbs and avoid adverbs: Have a character striding instead of walking confidently.
  • Only use repetition to emphasise.
  • When you’ve finished the first draft, read the story out loud. It’s surprising how many ‘mistakes’ leap out at you when you read out loud… assuming you have any of course!

Picture above courtesy of and/or

I love to talk about writing so feel free to email me. My online writing group blogs and their associated Facebook groups are:

Morgen’s Online Non-Fiction Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Novel Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Poetry Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Script Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Short Story Writing Group

Thank you for reading this and we look forward to your comments.


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One thought on “Story Writing Exercises 1312: Monday 22nd Jan

  1. EluminoraCreations January 22, 2018 at 9:15 pm Reply

    I only did the random prompt. Also I didn’t time myself. But I did have fun! See below for my piece.

    On most days, Eva preferred her morning cup of blood warmed up on the stove. Monday happened to be one of those days. She knew, of course, that the proper way to drink a cup of blood was to have it chilled, the way she used to drink tomato juice, once upon a time. But the cold happened to affect her more than it should, so on day like Monday, all grey clouds and visible exhaust fumes, she drank the blood warm.

    The rhythmic clock hand ticked to 8:30. Half an hour until the workday started. Her sort usually did well in libraries, but Eva dreaded yet more uncomfortable closeness with people whose necks she was not allowed to bite. Not that she would have wanted to, anyway. Once, a week or so after the change (in other words, when she had yet to learn the ropes of her new existence), hunger had overtaken her brain. The most appetizing prospect around happened to be a tubby businessman with a barely-disguised comb-over. Ravenous, Eva welcomed the dubious snack. Three days of starvation later, the nasty aftertaste of cholesterol finally left her tongue. She resolved in the future to consider her options much more carefully.

    Two more sips of warm blood. She snapped out of the memory, back to the swift passage of time.

    And naturally, since she still had on her fuzzy purple robe, the doorbell rang.

    Forgetting about the contents of the cup in her hand, she answered it.

    “Still answering the door in your robe, I see,” observed the vampire outside on the doormat. “Charming habit. May I come in?”

    Well, she did technically have an hour until her shift began. She stepped back for him to enter. She hadn’t finished her cup, after all, and she detested cold blood.

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