Saturday, February 11, 2012

Writing Exercise - Vocabulary A-Z Creative Short Story

Sometimes at work I get bored and have some extra time on my hands. Having a computer and word processor at my disposal, I started coming up with activities that would develop my vocabulary and writing skills. Over time I developed a fun writing exercise that fills up time and helps you with creative writing.

You start by coming up with a list of words, A-Z, for example: alligator, balloon, capital... Then once you have your list, come up with an original sentence using each word. Try to make them interesting and lengthy. You will end up with 26 original sentences. This is a good start, but if you want to do the full exercise, you must relate all the sentences together so they actually make a story. At the end you will have an original short story using words that start with every letter of the alphabet.

Here is an example that I did. Note, it is missing a couple letters. After you have done a lot of these you start to realize that it's hard to keep coming up with new words for some letters like x and z. J, k, and q are challenging too after a while. Try to come up with a theme before you start writing your sentences so you have a little direction, but decide on the theme after you pick random words.


Words: Accent, border, carriage, deliver, estimate, fragile, gallop, horizon, indifferent, jam, knowledge, lentil, mysterious, notorious, origin, proprietary, quiver, ridiculous, stationary, tractor, unfortunate, valuable, waffles.

Theme: driving in a foreign country.

Coming from the US, he had always loved the accent of the native speakers of the UK.

As he crossed the border from England to Scotland, he had to be careful to drive on the correct side of the road.

If he became careless, he might run into a carriage, another vehicle, or a pedestrian.

He had to deliver a package to a client before the end of the day.

His estimate was that it would take about an hour to get to his destination.

The contents of the package were fragile, so he had to be extra careful when moving it.

Along side the road he saw a horse gallop through an open field.

It looked so graceful against the sunrise in the horizon.

The horse appeared indifferent in relation to its surroundings.

Just then he came up to a traffic jam!

All the knowledge in the world wouldn't get him out of this one.

The truck in front of him belonged to a soup company and had pictures of minestrone, chicken noodle, and lentil soup.

A mysterious looking fellow wearing sunglasses and a cap was behind him in a Volkswagen sedan.

This road he had heard was notorious for it's congested traffic patterns.

The origin of the jam was unknown to him because he couldn't see around the soup truck.

He hoped the proprietary owner of the package would not be upset if the delivery was late.

The thought of having to explain why the package was late made him quiver.

Then again, he had until the end of the day to get there so his thought was actually ridiculous.

After having remained stationary for about 3 minutes, the cars finally began to move.

Still, it was slow and a big tractor in the field on the left was moving faster than he was.

He was hungry, but it was unfortunate he could not open the package.

What was inside was valuable and could not be opened or disturbed until it arrived at its destination.

What was inside was none other than fresh gourmet Belgian waffles!

The End

And there you have it!  Give it a try.  You can even post your story below in the comments section.  Good luck!

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