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Contact Author Are you struggling to keep your creative writing classes new and interesting? Instead of working with traditional exercises that focus on plot outlines, point of view, and setting, give your students some challenges that will force them to really use their imaginations—and maybe even fuel a little friendly competition.
Here are ten exercises and projects that you can try adding into your classes to put some of the fun back into your classroom: Start a pseudonym project. A lot of student writers—especially younger students—are very shy about sharing their writing with their peers.
Many hold back from writing anything too personal or passionate when they know someone else will see it and might even say something negative about it. To give new writers a sense of safety, try adding some anonymity.
Have students privately pick a pseudonym that they will use for all of their assignments.
This way, students can feel comfortable having their writing read and critiqued without worrying that any comments or judgments are personal. You can also add an element of competition to this project, if you like.
Encourage them to mix it up by picking a second pseudonym and writing two pieces for each assignment, finding an ally and switching pseudonyms, or completely changing their writing style to throw their peers off the scent. At the end of the semester or year, have everyone submit their guesses and find out who was who.
If anyone managed to keep their pseudonym without being found out, award them with bonus points.
Create an on-running class story. This can be a way to get your students comfortable with each other and to keep the ideas flowing when they feel stuck on their own writing. At the beginning of the semester, write the premise of a very simple story for your students. For example, it could be something like: Dan likes Michelle, but Michelle is in love with George.
Maybe Michelle goes out with Dan to make George jealous, but then Dan dumps her when he finds out. Then, George confesses that the person he has feelings for is actually Dan. To make it even more fun and challenging, give your students requirements they have to fulfill every time they collaborate on a new scene.
For example, there has to be a fight and somebody has to spill coffee all over their favorite outfit. Or, an element of fantasy has to be included.Hone your creative writing skills with this best-selling, portable little handbook!
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