Some people have actually asked me about this, so in
response to comments and emails, I thought I'd cough 'em up. In this section of the website, I'm
going to post some of the writing exercises I used back in the day to get
better at what I do. We will start with exercises meant to take about half an
hour each, which means that even if you do it over the course of a week, one
exercise a week is far from overkill. They may look intimidating at
first, but they're really not once you get into them. Later on, we will tackle
In an attempt to organize these things, I'm at first separating those which are Plot exercises from those which are Style, Characterization, and Setting and Description. By far, Style is going to be the most mechanical and boring of the four, since it's the most likely to remind you of high school English class. The other three tend to be more fun.
If these help anybody, great. If you'd rather ignore them because they're too difficult, well, that's your choice. But don't come to me complaining that I didn't try and give you help material.
And while you can attack any of the four categories you desire first, I recommend doing the exercises within that category in the order they're placed. For example, Plot Exercise One is meant to come before Plot Exercise Two--although it's fine if you want to do Characterization Exercise One instead.