Writing is the result of a series of decisions. Typically, we write down outlines and character profiles before we begin on the actual story writing. In this exercise, you are going to just WRITE FROM THE HIP.


The kitty has nothing to do with this exercise, actually. I just thought it was really cute. The source is Gratisgography, where you can find high resolution, professional photography for free. Great site.

Take one of the story starters listed below (whichever one strikes you the most), and create a short story from it. No outlining, no preparation of any kind. You’ll probably be surprised what you end-up writing.

Do NOT worry if you are unable to finish your story in the time allotted. The point of this is to jumpstart your writing, not polish it. That said, you can always take more time if you want and just finish it.

Here are the steps:

1. Write a story-starter onto a piece of paper. (One of those listed below.)

2. Think about how you might continue that sentence for a few seconds.

3. Start writing. Free flowing, let the words and the experience of writing them down by hand guide you. Allow yourself to make quick decisions. When you write, you make a series of decisions.

4. Don’t worry about word choice so much. Cross things out if you change your mind about the decision you’ve made – but try to keep that to a minimum. Try your best to not edit.

5. Give yourself about 15 minutes to do this exercise, but take more if you find yourself on a roll.

NOTE: Do NOT do this writing exercise on the computer. It completely changes the experience (and seriously not for the better). Writing onto paper with a pen is a different writing process. Try this and you’ll see what I mean.

Here we go.

Story starter #1:

When the alarm rang a fourth time, Sandra turned to Jack with a question in her eyes. They both knew it was…

Story starter #2:

Why he didn’t do it, I’ll never really know, but I …

Story starter #3:

“Just because I said it the one time that doesn’t give you…”.

OK, here’s one more story starter if you want to write something specifically for kids.

Kids story starter:

Paula peeled a potato with a mini-tornado. Tiny…

Let me know how you did with these. I love reading the results of writing exercises like this (or hearing them read aloud). It’s always quite interesting.

Send yours to me if you wish or post it to this page in a comment below. If you are interested in additional story starters, LOOK HERE.

Keep writing!


--Download Story Starters for Writers as PDF --

This entry is part of the series
Creative Exercises
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K.C. Hill
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