1. Paint Chip Storytelling - In this writing activity, you use paint chip samples to write a story. Paint chip samples often have unique and interesting names such as Western Sand, Basket Weave and Mermaid Tear. These names make the perfect story-starters to inspire creative storytelling. You may already be picturing a California beach picnic interrupted by a crying mermaid.
All you need is pen and paper (or a computer) and a collection of paint chip color samples with interesting names (free at most paint and hardware stores – even Wal-Mart).
Next, think about how you'd link the paint chip color names into a story. For example, I picked the five names of Heather, Skating Pond, Lavender Lipstick, Lovely Silken Ribbon, and Lucky Shamrock; then you need to think of a story that would use all of these words.
You can free write from these ideas or you can use them as a model from which to start; one paragraph incorporating each word. For example, the first paragraph could introduce a character “Heather”; Heather might visit a skating pond in paragraph two; she might lose her lavender lipstick in the third paragraph; in paragraph four Heather tells her friend about the lovely silken ribbon she kept tied to the tube of Lipstick; a friend offers Heather her lucky Shamrock and she finds the lipstick in the fifth paragraph. Remember to make sure the paragraphs link together as a story.Once the story is finished, try reading the story aloud. Think about your use of descriptive language, new vocabulary, and assess the all-around creativity of your story.
2. Another exercise is to look through family and school photographs. Imagine the photo that was never taken. What does it look like? Who is in it? Who took the picture? Where and when was it taken? What does it reveal about the person/people in it?
3. Read a newspaper or magazine and free-write about something you find there. Why did this topic capture your attention? Who does it affect? What has changed for you or the other people in the story? What if this same topic had occurred 50 years ago?
4. Write a letter to an old lover. (Don’t send it!) Share your fondest memories of them. Tell them about any regrets you have. Imagine what it would be like if you ran in to them today. What would that conversation sound like?
5. Choose a stranger you see during the course of the day. Make up an event in that person’s life. How do they remember it? How has it affected them?
These are just five of many writing exercises you can use to crawl out of your creative slump. Good luck and Happy Writing!