Writing Exercise Fun

The Ink Slingers Guild meet roughly every two weeks and one of the fun things we do is an exercise where  three or four members each pick one word. Those words are shared with the group and a timer is set for five – eight minutes. Laying pen to paper or tapping with fervor on their keyboards each person writes as much as they can in that time, but it must include those words. The best part is the sharing of these compositions, often hilarious and always inspiring!

We share them every week here: www.InkSlingersGuild.com

Today I decided that I wanted to share some personal favorites of mine. Below I will list three words and right below the blurb I threw together. I hope you enjoy them!

  • Late
  • Hesitant
  • Spartan

It was late and I was hesitant to knock on the door but my choices were that or getting hunted and eaten by a Serpa troll. Knocking on the door was a gamble, I admit. The tree whores tended to be mischievous and often killed their non-druid friends on accident. I was hoping that my slight resemblance to an ancient Spartan would keep their interest long enough to give me the scent inhibitor that would allow me to roam free without worrying about the incredible tracking skills of the aforementioned Serpa troll who was keen to get a little revenge. Something about a girl slave and some gold pieces. Unfortunately the beer they served at the pub that night was akin to the Irish gnomes brew and I don’t recall much about what happened that night. I sighed and lifted my hand to knock.

  • Slime
  • Skull
  • Squid

Jeri pulled the baby squid off his ankle and flung it into the ocean with a scowl.

“Stupid things love werewolves apparently,” he said out loud to himself.

“Lucky for me they don’t like the fae at all. I wonder why that is,” Shay said as she followed several feet behind Jeri.

“Oh look, you’ve got some slime on your shoe,” Shay said as she pointed even though she knew he couldn’t see her. Jeri growled long and low. Shay smiled and started skipping until she spotted what looked like a skull carved into the rock face ahead. She saw the hairs at the base of Jeri’s neck grow just slightly as he slowed at the entrance. He glanced back, his eyes red and growled once more.

“This had better be worth it.”

  • Tragedy
  • Hat
  • Witch

When I felt the knife graze my skin I got pissed. It’s one thing to tackle me in a dark alley. I probably shouldn’t have tried to take the shortcut home but put a hole in my friggin Guess jeans? These things were vintage 1986 and there was no replacing them. They were worn-in to perfection. The guy had his hand around my wrist now and was reaching for my purse. With my free hand, I grabbed his hat and yanked. His head dipped but he let the hat fall and now had my purse in his hand. Oh hell no. That was Prada. I kneed him where it counts and flicked my fingers at him. A silver dust puffed out and got in his eyes. He screamed and dropped to his knees, one hand covering his face, the other his package. I kicked him with my high heel mint condition Candies and continued down the alley. It pays to be a witch.

  • Ear
  • Message
  • Farce

Surely this was a farce. Shelly looked around the dim pub and quickly looked to the ground when she saw that everyone there was looking at her. The gnome who had led her inside quickly dropped her hand and shuffled off a foot or two. Shelly thought that maybe the gnome was protecting her but now she saw that he was actually protecting himself. There was not another human insight. She drifted to the first empty table and sat down with a thud and the clank of her sword against the ground. The message had said to meet here but she wouldn’t be able to stay long. A set of green legs appeared before her. She swallowed and looked up. The small ogre was not smiling and was missing one ear.

“Drink?” she growled.

Searching her pocket for some form of payment, Shelly was saved when someone dropped a couple coins on the table.

“Two hazelbeers, lady Sween,” a dark and mellow voice said.

“Oh certainly, sir,” the ogre suddenly curtsied, “right away, sir.”

Shelly was scared shitless to look up at the man she wanted to hire.

  • Parchment
  • Cushion
  • Shot

Running faster than she ever remembered, Sinni flew down the pathway leading to the Caremasters quarters. The crinkle of the parchment folded in her cloak only fueled the speed in her flat moccasins. Fear touched her nerves and spread as she rounded the corner and saw the house. Heavy arrows, shot from the forest were flying into the windows. Skidding to a stop she threw herself into the cushion of the pine needles on the ground. Her chest heaved and her eyes watered. The cramp that she was holding off bit into her side at the same time as the smooth arrow pressed into her neck.

“Your name?” questioned the soft deep voice.

© 2014 Lisa Barry

Writers Group Magic

Roughly every two weeks my writers group, The Ink Slingers Guild, get together and meet. At the meetings there are anywhere between 2 and twelve (ish) people that stop by my house to bask in each others writerly greatness. Sometimes we get scooped up from the concrete where a “friendly” relative has “accidentally” smashed us, sometimes we toot our horns at some amazingness that we were responsible for and other times we just rib each other to close to death.

However it ends up, there are certain elements that are at every meeting.

We ALWAYS set a “conquest” that we plan on going for before the next meeting. At the beginning of each meeting we cover the conquests and high five each other for those who made it and give empathetic nods to those who don’t. We NEVER beat up each other for not hitting a target. We are here to hold each other up and anything that detracts from that is not welcome.

One or more of us will often bring a quote or a story that is built to raise your outlook, pump you up or help the writer in some fashion. So we read those out loud and than look at each other with slitted eyes, ready to pounce on anyone who tries to put themselves down. Go ahead. Try it. We will take you down and then throw you right back up again. [Please do try this at home – works miracles.]

Then we do writing exercises. These are so friggin fun I can hardly stand it. If you take a looky over here, you’ll see we have pages of them.

We end off each meeting by filling out our Conquests for the next meeting. The only thing I think I left out is that goodies to eat are always welcome. One of our members (DragonBeck!) bakes creations that we can only wonder what elfin creature she apprenticed under as the result is like the Fae version of crack.

Oh, and I always make tea. Tea is our friend. I currently have the group addicted to Bengal Spice by Celestial Seasoning. Which by the way if you’re a Chai tea fan, you will taste Bengal Spice and be ruined since it is about 100 times better. [wink]

All of that said, I have the absolute best, most productive and most uplifting writers group and I am extremely thankful to call them my friends and colleagues.

Yes, I mentioned most productive. Our group has put out three books since 2012 and have two scheduled this year. We HAVE SO MUCH FUN. Yeah, we rock.


P.S. In my next post I intend to put up some of my most favoritist writing exercises in case you want to check ’em out.

Free Book from the Ink Slingers!

Hi, all! My writers group, the Ink Slingers Guild recently came out with a book of very short stories called The Death of Jimmy. The ebook is now available for free on Goodreads! Get the download and check it out! Reviews are welcome!!