Writing Exercise: Favorite Words

Written by Emily Harstone | April 23, 2013

When you are stuck, and you don’t know what to write or how to start a piece, this prompt helps free your imagination. It is a very simple prompt but a little bit time consuming.

This prompt works best on paper, but in a pinch you can do it on your laptop. Start writing down every word that pops into your head. Do not turn these words into sentences or add filler words like the, a, and. The point is to fill the page with words.

Make sure to add plenty of space between the words, so they are all clearly separate and distinct. This way the eye knows not to string them together. When you fill up the page with words, stop.

Take a break for a few minutes, just make sure you do something besides reading. Go get a glass of water, or make the bed, then come back and read the page. Highlight any of the words that seem interesting to you. If it’s just one word, that is great. If it is 15 try and reduce it down to 4 or 5. Those words are where your story is.

If highlighting doesn’t work for you, discover the words that you like by crossing out the ones you don’t. No matter how you find these favorite words, the end result is the same.

Take those words and turn them into a sentence, a short story, or a whole novel, depending on where they lead.

If none of the words jump out at you, that is fine too. Just start again on a new page. Soon you will find a word you will want to use to create something new and exciting.