Writing Exercises (Anne Stuart)

Part two of my weekend in Syracuse.  I searched the internet for entertaining writing exercises, just in case I got tired of talking, which I didn’t (I never knew I was such a blabber mouth), some that I made up, some that I gleaned and are fairly common.  If you’re feeling stuck, or just need to loosen up your writing muscles, try these.

1.  Find a scene in something you’ve written recently, cut and paste it into a new document.  Then, if it was i third person, write it in first.  If in first, write it in third.  It’s an entirely different process.  I wrote almost half of the first Kristina Douglas book in third, then decided first worked much better, and I had a fascinating time noticing the difference in the voice.  Even if it was in her POV, when it’s first person it takes on a different tone.

I also did that with an old gothic of mine, turning it from first to third.  It ended up winning a RITA (Winter’s Edge).

2.  One thing that was suggested, and I will tell you NEVER (screaming here) NEVER take paragraphs from a writer you admire and rewrite them.  Too many people have ended up either accidentally plagiarizing the work or using it as an excuse.  Leave other people’s writing alone.

But here are the ones I came up with to write a book (one old, there  of mine).

First, and this is the old one, pick a favorite room growing up and describe it.  Don’t overdo, just use salient details to get a feel of time and place.

For the next three, you need a set (or several sets) of Tarot cards and the Worst Case Scenario cards.

Pull a card from the Tarot to represent your heroine, and then describe her.  It doesn’t matter if there’s a male on the card — use your imagination.  Or hell, cheat and draw again until you find a female, though don’t be too picky.  I’m not big on rules.


Pull a card from the Tarot to describe a hero.  Same thing goes if you end up with a seemingly female card.  go with more than physical descriptions of these two — we need background and emotion.  Write a mini scene.

Put the two together in that room.  And then draw a Worst Case Scenario card.

Write a scene using the three cards and the remembered room.

Fun, right?  And it means you get to go out and buy Tarot cards.

Apparently there’s an excellent book called TAROT FOR WRITERS by Corrine Kenner.   I can’t figure out whether to buy it for the Kindle or in hard copy, but I’ve heard great things about it.  Hey, shopping is fun.

Anyone out there use Tarot for writing?


One thought on “Writing Exercises (Anne Stuart)

  1. Appreciate the tips, all useful for me. Good to know about the Tarot for Writers book, sounds like fun. Biggest chuckle of the post: “I’m not big on rules.”