13/07/2017
Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Coffee break creative writing exercise: Shoes

55b5bc12-680a-4790-82d0-7f4bfe96dc23

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.

Join the Writers Online community  
Sign up for our free e-newsletter to keep informed of our next Coffee Break Exercise and much, much more!
Follow us on Facebook or Twitter
Get expert advice, whether you're a beginner or bestseller, with Writing Magazine

Back to "Creative Writing" Category

13/07/2017 Share this story   Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Recent Updates

Coffee break exercise: Camera

Picture this – a new piece of writing that starts with a camera prompt in this week's creative writing ...


How to use creative writing techniques in other writing

Use transferable creative writing techniques to bring other forms of writing to life ...


Read more, write better! Writing Magazine bonus content, January 2019

Background reading, exclusive audio extracts and more to complement your latest Writing Magazine ...


Coffee break exercise: Clocks

Can you spare a few minutes? It's time for a new creative writing exercise ...


Other Articles

The 22 most thoughtful gift ideas for aspiring writers

Writers are seen to be at their happiest with just a piece of paper and a pen. So, when it comes to gift ...


Under the Microscope extra: The Man Who Would Do Nothing Twice

Read our suggested rewrite of a reader's novel opening ...


Why do authors use pen names?

Have you ever considered writing under a pseudonym? There are many reasons why a writer decides to change ...


How to write a self-help book

Leading publishing editor Kelly Notaras offers her top ten tips for writing a self-help book ...