Short Stories—Lesson 3: Idea making Part One: Total Freewriting

 What is Freewriting?

Freewriting comes in two varieties: “total” and “focused.” Writers use both forms to keep their brains active and generate ideas that might be useful for stories.


The goal in freewriting is to write without judging, correcting, or stopping.


Total Freewriting involves the writer setting a timer and writing on any subject until the time is up. They write without stopping. If they can’t think of ideas, they write, “I don’t know what to write.” Some writers write their names or scribble when out of ideas. Whatever strategy you choose, the key is to keep the brain active by moving your pen or pencil the entire time. The writer may start by talking about their day and then transition into discussing an article they read recently, the weather conditions outside, or how they feel emotionally today. There are no rules for organization or structure or topic when exercising total freewriting.


Total Freewriting Practice

Set a timer for 10–30 minutes and write on any topic. Don’t stop writing until the time is up. Don’t stop to correct grammar, punctuation, spelling, organization or any other part of writing. Keep pushing yourself forward.


Extra Credit

Scribble on a piece of paper. Go wild! Then start turning the scribbles into drawings. Then turn your drawings into words. From there, go where your pen leads.


Class HOME

Unit One

NEXT—Lesson 4: Idea making Part One: Focused Freewriting

BACK—Lesson 2: The Writer’s Sketchbook