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One of my three books have arrived and I was reading it last night – What If.  It contains over 80 exercises for the “fiction” writer to help improve their writing.  The contains page gives a good indication of the exercies that are to follow and so jumping straight in, I completed Exercise 1, which was to write 5 different opening sentences, the idea behind it being that you weren’t committing yourself to writing a whole chapter or even a book based on these sentences, you just needed to write something that would entice the reader to continue reading, something that would grab the reader’s attention immediately and make them wander what was going to happen next.

These are the five sentences that I wrote:

  1. They just kept coming; all down the street they could see them, waving knives and axes in the air, screaming something akin to a tribal war song.
  2. She cowered behind the chair hoping, nay praying, that the sedative would start to work and that he wouldn’t be able to hurt her again.
  3. She screamed, waving her hands frantically in the air hoping that someone would see her before the current got too strong and she wouldn’t be able stay afloat any longer.
  4. The day held a secret, one she didn’t think she could hold onto any longer, it was getting too difficult now and more people were getting closer to the truth.
  5. She looked so beautiful in the dress that she had made herself, everyone looked at her and smiled but no one really knew what to say after what had happened.
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To pursue my challenge, I have know that I need to write some short exercises/stories to build a base upon. I envisage that this will help me to write in different forms, about different emotions and get a more rounded base on which I can build on.
To help me to this end I have just ordered some books which have receieved good reviews which will provide me with the exercises that I need and hopefully get past the first stumbling block of getting some words down on paper without worrying what to write about.

What If?: Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers

Your Writing Coach: From Concept to Character, from Pitch to Publication - Everything You Need to Know About Writing Novels, Non-fiction, New Media, Scripts and Short Stories

The Five-minute Writer: Exercise and Inspiration in Creative Writing in Five Minutes a Day

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