Coffee-break exercise: Swapping styles


07 February 2020
Have fun with this week's creative writing exercise, which is about finding different ways to tell well-known stories

Think of some familiar classic pieces of writing: Hamlet, Pride and Prejudice, Treasure Island, The Little Mermaid, On the Road, Lord of the Rings, The Lighthouse and The Big Sleep are just a few examples. Write down your own selection of four our five titles.

Now think of an apparently mismatched genre for each, ie, Hamlet/limerick; Pride & Prejudice/murder mystery; Lord of the Rings/family saga.

Choose one, and for the rest of your coffee break writing time, amuse yourself by writing the opening paragraph or verses of your genre-swapped classic.

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Have fun – and if you're enjoying yourself, stay with it - you could happily get a new short story or even novel out of this exercise!


Take this fun quiz to answer the question every writer wants to know: which genre should I write?