Off The Top Of My Head- Freewriting

By: Scott Lindsay

In writing there is a technique known as Freewriting which is essentially designed to encourage you to write and it comes without bounds of structure, format or plot.

Freewriting may seem frivolous to some, however it is useful in bringing creativity to the forefront in ways that are often surprising to those who try this exercise.

In its purest form Freewriting has absolutely no rules. A writer is simply asked to write whatever comes to their mind without judgement or correction. Freewriting often is a series of disjointed ramblings that make little sense. However, there are times when a rambling thought produces seed and an author can take that thought and use it to create something fully developed and meaningful.

Some of the writing exercises I have used with other writing colleagues that bears a resemblance to Freewriting allows the author to pick a fictional genre and compose a story using only a series of specified word prompt.

Allow me to provide details on these writing exercises you can try today.

Exercise # 1

Create an opening line for a novel that includes three of the following items.

-Pen
-Chicken
-Onion
-Calendar
-Alternator

You must also include two of the following characters

-Sanitary Engineer
-Pizza Delivery Guy
-School Principle
-Book Salesman

Exercise # 2

Your main character is locked in a warehouse, gagged and tied up by thugs. You must help your character escape using five of the following items.

-Toothpick
-Frisbee
-Cardboard
-A stick of gum
-A joke book
-A flood light
-Checker game board
-Duct tape
-A can of beef bullion
-A Mylar balloon

Exercise # 3

Compose any story you like, the only rule is that you can’t use the words ‘the, at, and with".

You can also change this rule to include any other common word. This process makes you concentrate on finding new ways to compose a phrase.

You can dream up your own exercises that may have you writing utter silliness, but the point to this type of exercise if to simply allow your creative mind to forget the rules and just play with words. Many have used this type of exercise to smash writer's block and to revitalize their writing experience.

The next time you can't seem to come up with anything to write give Freewriting a chance. You may well discover that you have more creativity than you gave yourself credit for.

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