Writing Experiments

I posted weekly (or every-few-weekly) Friday Writing Experiments for a year or so, and I now post new ones occasionally. See the chronological list below.

This resources page will lead you to other useful links and practical advice about writing, publishing and the writer’s life.


1: A Novel In 1,500 Words (storytelling; narrative structure)
2: Poison Pen Portrait (character)
3: Variations On The Form Of ‘I Remember’ (memory; voice; tone; lists)
4: A Date With An Artist (creative companionship and sustenance)
5: Borrowing From The Bard (Shakespeare; starting points and inspirations; epigraphs)
6: Writing Good Sentences (sentences; syntax)
7: Ghost Story (ghosts; chance operations; writing by candlelight)
8: NaNoWriYear (planning a novel)
9: A Word (etymologies)
10: Saint’s Day (names; saints; story)
11: My Life As A Musical (life writing; inspirations and imaginings)
12: The Power Of Four (writing in sections)
13: Filters (new life)
14: Popping Pills (drugs; character)
15: Tell Me A Short Story (short stories)
16: People Of The Stars (astrology; character)
17: O, Just-spring! (inspirations; invocations; gratitudes)
18: Candlelit Tales (lighting conditions)
19: Ode For A Special Occasion (ode; commemorations)
20: Lists, Lovely Lists (lists)
21: Dream Come True (dreams and reality)
22: Voice 1: Listening (overheard dialogue; listening)
23: Voice 2: Tone (tone; emotion)
24: Voice 3: Passion and Purpose (purpose; fire)
25: Voice 4: Other Voices (first-person point of view; character)
26: Distinguishing Features (character; physical attributes)
27: My Own Private Heidi (Right Speech; utopia; love)
28: Plantings (flora; setting)
29: Great Annotations (revising; rewriting; annotating)
30: Wardrobe Masters And Mistresses (character; attributes; behaviour)
(30a) Summer Hiatus: R&R (Reading And Refreshment) ** (reading)
31: Get Thee To A Library (I Remember; libraries)
32: This Ordinary Magic (magic in realism; the everyday)
33: A Little Bird Told You (ekphrastic writing; animals)
34: Windy Ditties (inspirations; weather)
35: Bring In The Light (the light in your writing)
36: Second Homes (home in your writing)
37: Old Friends, New Faces (characters, settings, situations)
38: Adventures In Time And Space (constraints)
39: Self-Help (self-help books)
40: Friday the 13th (reversals)
41: The Still Point Of The Sun (solstice; the past meeting the future)
42: Resolve Nothing (the power of observation)
43: Dawnsong (aubades)
44: Once Upon A Time (storytelling)
45: Thrice-Told Tales (narration)
46: Gossip Drops (gossip)
47: Love Is Blind (Valentine’s Day; Love)
48: Tales Of Your City (setting; character)
49: More Tales Of Your City (an encounter)
50: Spring Is Sprung (spring; happiness; commemorations)
51: Locked In (prison stories)
52: Happily Ever After (fairy tales; biography)
53: Breaking Up Is Never Easy, You Know (break-up letter; voice)
54: Write! A Manifesto (manifestos; intention)
55: Dear Diaries (keeping a diary; voice)
56: Fanmail (letter writing)
57: Off Your Chest (emotive writing)
58: Spring Clean-up (revising)
59: Words Words Words (words; constraints)
60: Word Power (words; revising)
61: Raising The Tone (tone; politics; tricksters; love)
62: Receiving, And Giving (cultural appropriation; gifts; give vs take in writing)
63: A Gift On Every Page (revising and editing; gifts)
64: The Wrong Envelope (reversals of fortune; plotting; story prompts)
65: An Archive Of Belonging (writing about home; gifts)
66: Copyist (models and inspirations; somatic writing)
67: I Don’t Remember (character; going deeper; secrets and lies; subtext)
68: Putting It Through The Typewriter Again (revising)
69: We Are A Muse (inspirations)
70: Character Questionnaire (character)
71: Characters Sparking Joy (character)
72: Sitting (And Walking) With Your Characters (character)
73: ‘Heart’ Words vs ‘Head’ Words (words, style)
74: Only Connect (plotting, alternatives to conflict)

And more:
* Charles Bernstein’s Experiments
* Jack Collom’s Ecosystem Of Writing Ideas in The Alphabet of the Trees and (with Sheryl Noethe) Poetry Everywhere
* Bernadette Mayer’s Writing Experiments
* Contemplative Pedagogy Trainings from Naropa University

And the following books also contain lots of writing exercises:
* Robin Behn & Chase Twichell, The Practice of Poetry
* Laura Deutsch, Writing from the Senses
* Sherry Ellis, Now Write!
* Natalie Goldberg – most of her books contain plenty of prompts, but Old Friend from Far Away is particularly good for life writing/memoir
* Kate Grenville, The Writing Book
* Constance Hale, Sin and Syntax and Constance Hale’s Lesson Plans For Teachers
* Brian Kitely, The 3 AM Epiphany
* Josip Novakovich, Fiction Writer’s Workshop and Writing Fiction Step by Step