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- Go for a walk alone (or with your dog)
- Visit a local art gallery or exhibition
- Browse the shops (okay, book shops, of course, but branch out, try pet stores, craft fayres, ToysRUs)
- Sit in a park, cafe or sporting event and people watch
- Go for a scenic drive; use the train, bus or get in the back of the car
- Watch a film with a great plot and amazing characters
- Go to the theatre, comedy club or even the opera.
- Change the sex of a major character. Or, if you’ve only written as your own gender, try writing in the voice of the opposite sex. Use free-writing to get this going, so you can’t stop to think about it too much.
- Change the POV. Do you always write in the 1st person? Or never write it in? Try swapping round. If you fancy the challenge, try writing in the 2nd person singular, or even 2nd person plural. Have a stab at the omniscient. Always start with free-writing, bearing in mind no one need ever read it, and you can throw it away if you wish.
- Change the genre or form. If you never write poems, try one now. If you always write romance, move your love into a sci fi setting. To aid this free-writing, compile a list of genres and forms that you would like to try – include some you are fearful of trying. Move through them using free-writing.
- Change the style. Having read through your work, have you noticed your style? Would you like to attempt a rejuvenation? Have a go with your free-writing technique. Did you notice that it’s lacking dialogue, or full of long descriptions? Try the exact opposite and see how it goes. Did the writing lack emotion, or lack imagery? Again, have a go at the alternatives. Do you always write by hand? Start with a Word Doc instead. Always write by keyboard? Your next free-writer should be by hand.