Take Ten

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



Take Ten for Writers • No. 05 Creative Writing Exercise

Super Wordacious

Blend a prefix, root, and suffix to create a brand new word.

By Bonnie Neubauer | Updated July 15, 2018


Here’s a chance to blend a prefix, root, and suffix to create a brand new word. Simply take one from each column in the grid below. You will have to use this new word in your story, so choose wisely!

PREFIX ROOT SUFFIX
semi bug athon
pro work ateria
post paper itis
neo money ist
pseudo fun meister
psycho point ish
uni left itude
tele right arian
micro wish able
maxi fish ologist
anti splash omatic
inter dribble acious
inner loon mania
mis flush phobe
upper mush phile
geo strip arama
counter babble ivore
ex grime ism

Write your Super Wordacious word on the top of your paper.

Pick a number between 1 and 10: ______.

Find your number below on the list. This is a (famous) first line to start your story.


Super Wordacious List

Find your number here. This is a (famous) first line to start your story.


  1. A screaming comes across the sky. (Gravity’s Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon)

  2. It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. (1984, George Orwell)

  3. I am an invisible man. (Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison)

  4. Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show. (David Copperfield, Charles Dickens)

  5. It was a wrong number that started it, the telephone ringing three times in the dead of night, and the voice on the other end asking for someone he was not. (City of Glass, Paul Auster)

  6. The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel. (Neuromancer, William Gibson)

  7. Where now? Who now? When now? (The Unnamable, Samuel Beckett)

  8. It was like so, but wasn’t. (Galatea 2.2, Richard Powers)

  9. Dr. Weiss, at forty, knew that her life had been ruined by literature. (The Debut, Anita Brookner)

  10. I had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally happens in such cases, each time it was a different story. (Ethan Frome, Edith Wharton)

Now TAKE TEN minutes and WRITE!

TAKE TEN Take-Away

In this exercise, you combined three existing items (prefix, root, and suffix) to create a fourth (new word). When you write, you do the same type of creative math. Example: one funny anecdote from work + one exotic location you want to visit + one ethical issue facing you = a new idea for a screenplay. It’s fun to look at things you’ve written to identify the life moments that you added together to make one writing.

Next: Biopic Writing Exercise

©2009 Bonnie Neubauer. All rights reserved.