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  • Anthony Hett

How to write a short film - Writing Exercise #1

Hello and welcome back to my new blog, where I will be offering simple and practical advice on how to write and then make an interesting and engaging short film.


Today we will be continuing to look at inspiration. Let me help you fill those blank pages.


Today we will be looking at how writing exercises can help to inspire the ideas behind those interesting and engaging scripts.

Now of course, there are literally thousands upon thousands of creative writing exercises online but today I’m just going to focus on one writing exercise that I have used for many years with writers of all ages and abilities. I call this writing exercise Roll the dice.


Materials


For this writing exercise you are going to need:


A pen/pencil

A notebook/paper

A dice


Don’t worry if you don’t have a dice at home. Simply type “roll dice” into google and a digital dice will appear for you to roll.


Instructions

  1. List six different jobs, careers or lifestyles.

  2. List six different locations.

  3. List six times of the day or year.

  4. Roll the dice three times, once for each list.

  5. Write down the three chosen options.

You should now have a random set of one character, one location and one time of day or year, For example you may have rolled a ballet dancer on a beach on Easter Day. Hopefully this should spark an idea. However, if you still find yourself a bit stuck, try asking yourself the following questions in relation to the character, location and time of day or year you have rolled:

  • Why are they there?

  • How did they get there?

  • Who else is there?

  • What are the escaping from or running to?

Alternatively the idea itself might not develop into a story you want to explore further, but does else does the scenario inspire. Maybe it triggers a long lost memory, something that might help form a story that is a little more personal to you?


I hope that you find this writing exercise to be both fun and helpful. There are numerous other writing exercise online, too many to count, so if you're still struggling to create new ideas, maybe give some of those a try too.

Also, don't forget to check out the video that accompanies this blog post, which you can find on my YouTube channel and I will be back next week with a new blog and vlog looking at choosing which ideas to develop.