Productivity Tip: Warm Up Before You Write

You can’t expect to spin creative gold the second you sit down to write. You need to ease into the creative mindset and become re-acquainted with your story world and the characters that inhabit it.

Page 85’s Word War and Timed Write tools both provide an engaging way of helping you get inspired, by offering a time limit, a way to compete against your friends, and it features a photo of the day. This encourages you to start using the right side of your brain without letting your inner editor take over.

The best writing warm-ups are the ones that last from anywhere to five to fifteen minutes and are an independent exercise from your script or novel. That way, you can write without stopping and come up with plot twists or scenes that are out of the box and wouldn’t fit in your current piece of writing. Set a time limit, because this forces you to keep writing — even if you run out of ideas. The best scenes sometimes are written after you’ve gone past the meat of the scene.

Here are six writing prompts to get you started!

  1. Write a scene where two people are trapped in an elevator. Who are they and why are they there?
  2. Write a scene where you (the author) interrogates your character on a pressing issue that’s the center of your current script or novel. The character does not want to give you the information you seek. What do you learn about your character in this process? What new bits of their backstory can you find out?
  3. Someone is running through a forest in the middle of the night. Where are they running to? Are they being pursued, or are they the pursuer?
  4. Pick a social issue that you’re passionate about. Now write an between two characters with opposing viewpoints… and have the character with a viewpoint you don’t agree with win the argument.
  5. Start a scene in one genre, and then end it in another.
  6. Write a scene with heavy foreshadowing that informs the audience as to the direction of the scene… and then go in the total opposite direction.

Get writing!

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