This creative writing exercise is from Take Ten for Writers by Bonnie Neubauer
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Take Ten for Writers • No. 67 Creative Writing Exercise
By Bonnie Neubauer | Updated September 9, 2018
Today’s mail consists of three bills you can’t afford to pay, and one of your SASEs (self-addressed, stamped envelopes). You throw out the envelope and make dinner. An hour later, your curiosity about the assumed rejection letter gets the better of you, and you retrieve the sauce-covered envelope from the trash can. Inside the envelope, you find a real-looking money order for $2,000,000. The stamp isn’t canceled; the return address is your own. There is a computer-printed note that explains the money is for you to become a full-time writer.
There is one stipulation, and if you violate it, the money will be taken back, and whatever was spent will be collected, no holds barred. If you accept, by hanging a flag from your bedroom window at midnight, you give the sender 100 percent ability to track your actions.
Write about what you do or don’t do, starting with: After my next-door neighbor, a banker, told me the money order was legit, I …
Pick a number between 1 and 10: ______.
Find your number below. This is the stipulation to cashing the money order.
Find your number here. This is the stipulation to cashing the money order.
Now TAKE TEN minutes and WRITE!
Finish this sentence: If I were a millionaire, I’d _________.
And this one: If I were a dessert, I’d _________.
These sentences use the subjunctive (“I were”) which often causes confusion for writers. Here’s a tip for proper usage: If you are expressing a wish or something hypothetical, use “were” instead of “was.”
©2009 Bonnie Neubauer. All rights reserved.
Bonnie Neubauer is the inventor of the Story Spinner and author of the revised and expanded deluxe edition of The Write-Brain Workbook. ...