Writing Exercise

This weekend, I tried a new writing activity with my best friend. It can be a fun experiment for writers of all ages, and is easily adapted to fit your own needs.

First, prepare a short story or essay for the activity. Each participant should bring their own original sample. Make it a short, relatively uncomplicated piece of writing.

Get together with a partner and switch papers. Read over your partner’s piece without critiquing. Now put the story or essay down and write your own version of it. You may refer back to the original, but be sure not to copy any part of it exactly. The goal is to write another draft in your own words. If you see something you don’t like in the original, shake it up a little in your version. Have fun with it.

When you both are finished re-writing each others’ papers, switch back and read the remakes. Did the other person change anything? What did they do better? What do you wish they would have added? Discuss the differences between the original pieces and the re-writes.

Remodeling someone else’s work, or reading their remake of your work, can  reveal a lot about your writing. Even if you don’t have a partner, you can revise a magazine article. It’s not as effective, but it is a good activity if you are suffering from writer’s block.

Have a great weekend!

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