• Madison Brown

Three Writing Exercises to Quickly Find Inspiration

Recently I’ve found myself often wanting to write, but having no idea what to write. I don’t have a lot of time to come up with new ideas, so I searched for some ways to quickly find inspiration. I discovered these few bite-sized writing exercises, so if you’re in the same boat, or just want to stretch your creative muscles, feel free to give them a try!

Six-Word Stories

Six-word stories are exactly what they sound like—stories that are only six words long. Writing them is definitely a creative challenge that can produce some interesting results. And if a line you write particularly intrigues you, you can always expand it into a longer story. If you're new to six-word stories, you can find plenty of examples on Pinterest!

I tried my hand at writing six-word stories, and… it didn’t go very well. 😬😅 Most of the sentences I wrote weren’t stories in and of themselves; they were just snippets of a larger story. So even if your six-word stories don’t turn out, they can still provide inspiration for a bigger piece.

Here are a few of the “stories” I wrote…

  • Loving him was my greatest mistake.

  • To me, you’re synonymous with regret.

  • I both despised and adored him.

  • You promised. Foolishly, I believed you.

  • “Why wasn’t I enough for you?”

My stories turned out to be pretty similar to each other. If all your stories end up falling into the same genre, like mine, the next exercise can help with that...

One-Sentence Genres Challenge:

For this challenge, choose at least 5 different genres and write a single-sentence story for each. Here are some ideas for genres to pick from:

  • Suspense/thriller

  • Mystery

  • Horror

  • Science Fiction

  • Contemporary

  • Romance

  • Historical fiction

  • Humor

  • Fantasy

  • Children’s

  • Middle grade

  • Young adult

This is a great exercise for getting out of your comfort zone and experiment with new genres!

Diagramming Story-Starters

A friend of mine came up with the amazing idea to use sentences from diagramming exercises as story starters. The sentences below, intended for diagramming, are taken from lesson 36 in Graded Lessons in English by Brainerd Kellogg and Alonzo Reed (1896).

1. The small but courageous band was finally overpowered.

2. Lightning and electricity were identified by Franklin.

3. A complete success or an entire failure was anticipated.

4. Good men and bad men are found in all communities.

5. Vapors rise from the ocean and fall upon the land.

6. The Revolutionary war began at Lexington and ended at Yorktown.

7. Alas! all hope has fled.

8. Ah! I am surprised at the news.

9. Oh! we shall certainly drown.

10. Pshaw! you are dreaming.

11. Hurrah! the field is won.

These sentences are way cooler than the ones I had to diagram in school—and they're just begging to be used in a story!


A great thing about these writing exercises at that they can be done quickly--they're a great way to fill spare moments instead of scrolling on social media.

If you try any of these writing exercises, let me know! I’d love to hear what you come up with. 😊

Until next time,


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