Take Ten

This creative writing exercise is from Take Ten for Writers by Bonnie Neubauer



Take Ten for Writers • No. 32 Creative Writing Exercise

Hearing Voices

Tell an engaging story about your life in voice other than first-person narration.

By Bonnie Neubauer | Updated September 9, 2018


Think of a fairly recent event from your life that has some emotion, drama, suspense, humor, or action in it. It’s best if there are at least two people involved, and you are the main character. You are now going to tell this story, but in a voice other than the usual first-person narration.

Pick a number between 1 and 10: ________.

Find your number below. This is the voice that will tell the story.


Hearing Voices List

Find your number here. This is the voice that will tell the story.


  1. Tell the story in third person, where you refer to yourself by name and use the pronoun he or she, depending on your gender.

  2. Tell the story in the voice of, and from the point of view of, someone else who was involved (no matter how peripherally or indirectly) in this episode.

  3. Replace yourself with someone significantly older than you were during the time this story took place, and then tell the story in this person’s voice as if it happened to this older person.

  4. Change your gender in the story, turning yourself from male to female, or vice versa. Tell the story in the first person as if it happened to this other-sex person.

  5. Tell the story in second person (using the word you), which is a challenging thing to do, but gratifying once you get into the you-groove.

  6. Tell the story from the point of view of, and in the voice of, an inanimate object that played some role in the story, even if it was just in the background.

  7. Tell the story from the point of view of, and in the voice of, an animal that was present. If no animal was present, alter the story slightly to include one.

  8. Tell the story from the point of view of, and in the voice of, an alien who observed the entire thing, unbeknownst to you (because no one on Earth can see aliens).

  9. Replace yourself with someone significantly younger than you were at the time this story took place, and then tell the story in this person’s voice as if it happened to this younger person.

  10. Pretend that not long after this incident happened, you told someone the entire story. Now have this person tell your story, secondhand, to a third person.

Now TAKE TEN minutes and WRITE!

TAKE TEN Take-Away

One of the biggest benefits of doing a lot of writing practice is that it helps you develop your own writing voice. This voice is unique to you. It's what you bring to the table. It's not just your style, it's your perspective. It's also your passions and the collection of your experiences. It's your beliefs, desires, and memories. It's how you see, hear, smell, feel, and taste the world. In essence, it is you on paper, and it is as unique as your fingerprints. Keep practicing, and your writing voice will continue to emerge in its beautiful and raw way.

Next: I Wood If I Could Writing Exercise

©2009 Bonnie Neubauer. All rights reserved.