13/07/2017
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Coffee break creative writing exercise: Shoes

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You don't need to spend hours on your writing to feel creative. Fuel your imagination wherever you are with our 15-minute coffee break exercise.

Sit in a café or shopping centre and focus on a pair of shoes. They may be in a shop window or on somebody’s feet. For five minutes write about those shoes. Don’t censor what you write or cross anything out.

If they are in a shop window, think of the sort of person who would buy them. Where are they going? Why? If they are on somebody’s feet, look at how well they fit. Are they clean or muddy? What colour are they? Look at the colour and texture. What are they made of?

Allow your imagination to take flight. What if those shoes had magical properties? For instance, what if someone bought them from a charity shop and then discovered they led him or her to a dangerous situation. Or – what if the wearer became invisible and the person was able to get revenge on somebody?

For the next five minutes write more about the person wearing the shoes. What do they most want from life? What is stopping them from getting it? How do they walk? What is their voice like? What sort of clothes do they wear? What are their good and bad points?

For your last five minutes, create the first two or three paragraphs of a story using one of the following starting points:
    •    I have never liked buying shoes…
    •    The shoes stood in the shop window red and shiny as apples…
    •    I didn’t mean to steal the shoes…
    •    The strange shoes led me in a direction I didn’t want to go…
    •    I knew I’d have trouble walking in them…

Have fun with the ideas you generate. See how many flash fiction stories you can create from this exercise.  Maybe you could do a collection of shoe stories.

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