Wednesday, 3 April 2013


My theme for the A to Z Challenge is: writing warm-ups.

I find if I start a writing session with a five-minute warm-up, I have a much more productive session.

There are several ways I like to do this. For each day of the challenge, I'll suggest various exercises such as photo prompts, mind maps and freewrites. I'm confident you'll find your muse lurking beneath one of them. Grab a cuppa and a notepad...

Today's warm-up is: C for Clock.

1. You're running late for an important meeting/date. The consequence of not getting there on time is beyond dire. Try and come up with as many obstacles in your journey from A to B and scribble down a high-suspense scene.

2. Sketch a mind-map using the key word as the nucleus, then branch out in whatever direction you please. You might find yourself going in completely unrelated paths (which I personally prefer). Do a five-minute freewrite incorporating as many (or few) branch words as you like. Here is my mind map (created using the SimpleMind app on my phone).

3. Choose one of the following sentence starts and freewrite for a few minutes, letting the words tumble out without a second thought:

  • I knew he wouldn't turn up...
  • If only she'd answer her phone...
  • They weren't expecting me home an hour early...

I find it best not to read my freewrites for at least a few days. Why not stuff them in a drawer and surprise yourself? It's blatant evidence that our minds work in mysterious ways. Plus, I defy you not to find an array of story seeds amongst your work.

Do you have any writing warm-ups you'd like to share?

Take care,
Catherine x

Note: All photo prompts in the A to Z Challenge 2013 are my own. Feel free to use/copy/share to your hearts content. Help yourself. :) 



mrkelly2u said...

Another great post, Catherine. These types of prompt are always useful. I will definitely revisit when I find myself in need of a creative pick-me-up.

Maria said...

Can I borrow "I knew he wouldn't turn up...' please?

I need to do a 200 word flash fiction pier and that will do nicely. :-)

marwil said...

I have tried similar prompts before, they are great warm-ups for writing. Thanks for sharing these. And have fun throughout the challenge!

Catherine Noble said...

@mrkelly2u: Thank you :) I hope you find them useful!

@Maria: Please... be my guest! Good luck with the Flash Fiction piece :)

@marwil: Thank you very much, same to you! :)

Anne Mackle said...

Catherine you need to put all these in a page so we can access them later as I hardly have time to breathe just now.They're so good.

Catherine Noble said...

Thanks, Anne, that's such a nice thing to say :) I'll compile it all to a PDF at the end, I think!

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