Even changing the POV for the next WIP and changing the narrative from the third person to the first person is a part of the writing exercise. Trying different forms of fiction: Short story, Flash Fiction (100 to 1000 words), Micro fiction (140 words), Drabble (100 words) even Haikus (17 words in three stanzas of 5,7,5) is a wonderful way to give that small muscle an intense workout.
Except for the short story, the other four are like heavy duty calisthenics for our writing muscle, flushing it with the feel good endorphins, when we see that we have managed to express ourselves well while keeping within the strict word counts required by drabble, haikus, flash fiction and micro fiction. To say a lot and to say it well using less number of words is the best reward we writers can give ourselves.
Sometimes even spending a few minutes describing what we see around us is a fantastic way of exercising those creative cells. Just describing the scene we see in front of us: it could a be crowded hospital lobby, a traffic jam, a small child throwing a tantrum, or an old couple sitting on a park bench, with all five of our senses has outstanding results. Sensory descriptions is gentle like yoga. It slowly stretches that muscle we writers cannot do without. These random descriptions and scenes can sometimes creep into our manuscripts in one way or the other, or maybe stick around in our minds long enough to give birth to some other strain of creativity.
Another great way to stretch that muscle is putting our MC in a What If situation. What if our MC is stranded on an island? What if he wins a lottery? What if the bus he is traveling in gets hijacked? What if loses his job? What if he unknowingly befriends a criminal? What if he ends up witnessing a murder? What if he or she is kidnapped by an alien?
The answers to all these What If questions can trigger s series of plot points or lead us into introducing those much needed twists and turns that we crave. Maybe it may even direct us to the doorstep of an entire new character who can turn the story on its head.
How do you all exercise the writing muscle? What kind of work out do you do to keep that muscle in peak condition? Do you have any workout tips for us?