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The Write Time: A New Exercise Per Day

February 18, 2010

Greetings! Beginning Friday, February 19, we will be featuring a new writing exercise every day, as it appears in The Write Time: 366 Exercises to Fulfill Your Writing Life. However, there’s a twist: After each exercise presented online, we will briefly discuss the exercise and perhaps offer further prompts for you. Think of it as a “writing pep talk”. Soon, we’ll also be offering these exercises and mini-discussions as Podcasts.

After you complete the exercises, we’d love to hear from you about your experience. Post your comments to this blog, And don’t forget to enter our Write Time contest, which offers $500 in cash prizes. Details can be found on our homesite.

Of course, if you’d like to cut to the chase and have all of the exercises, you can purchase The Write Time — which also includes inspirational and motivational quotes, sun signs, space for self-prompts, 125 of the best writing websites, and the best collection of authors’ birthdays of any writing book on the market. If you’re an educator, librarian, workshop teacher or writing group facilitator, our publisher will make special group discount arrangements with you.

See you tomorrow! Here’s a quick taste:


Exercise: Go to a coffee shop or public place—and listen closely to conversations around you. Be an eavesdropper. Observe the faces of the men, women or youth who spoke these words. Write a 500-word vignette or short story—truth or fiction, doesn’t matter—that features their dialogue. Imagine a circumstance that brought them together in this public place, at this time. Keep writing, but allow the dialogue to drive the story.

Discussion: This writing form is known as ensemble. Get to know this fun and engaging pursuit, and it will serve you well, whether in novels, short story collections, essays, or both forms of stage writing—playwriting and screenwriting. Best of all, it will develop your ear for writing creative dialogue … and give you a never-ending stream of speech to digest and chronicle.

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