A Fun Writing Exercise

Micro and Maxi Fiction

A Fun Writing Exercise

I’m attending Willamette Writers Conference this weekend, and here’s a fun writing exercise from Eric Witchey

  1. Think of 3 emotions. Something easy, like calmness, love, joy
  2. Think of 3 other emotions, different or even opposite to the first 3. Like anxiety, hatred, disgust
  3. Name your character, e.g. Daniel
  4. Give your character a clear goal, also mundane and simple, e.g. read a book or put on their shoes.
  5. Write a paragraph transforming your character from state 1 to state 2 while they are reaching their goal.

Since I’m creating a whole cast of characters for my new high fantasy series, I decided to use this exercise to play with my new character Mara. Here’s what I got:

  1. State 1: Fear, anxiety, distrust

2. State 2: Joy, serenity, calmness

3. Character’s name: Mara

4. Goal: A bean brew in the mug

5. A paragraph

Her throat parched and her heart racing, Mara stared at the brown brew filling the mug. She bit her lips. It could be a trap. A sweet aroma caressed her nostrils; she exhaled and reached for the mug, her fingers trembling. A sudden noise behind her back made her jerk and spin around. The kitchen was empty. It must have been her imagination playing again. She turned to the mug and cradled it in her icy hands. The steam burned her face. She brought the mug to her lips, then froze. What if it’s poisoned? She couldn’t be sure, not at a terem. The brew splashed, reflecting the light  of a ceiling candle. Mara sighed and took a sip.

The liquid wrapped around her tongue. Its taste reminded her of the summer days in her foster mother’s hut, the scents of herbs, and forest beasts brushing their fluffy sides against her knees. When she put the mug down, her fingers didn’t tremble. A tiny smile touched her bruised lips.

I personally like this paragraph a lot, because it shows a bit of Mara’s backstory and also the settings. And it asks some questions 🙂

Try this for yourself and share your results in the comments! It’s fun.


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