Thanks to my past teen self, I will never run out of book ideas. I spent those years writing pages of book/scene/character ideas—much of which were birthed through exercises that not only sparked my creativity, but developed my writing voice as well.
Here are 5 of my favorite writing exercises for teens that can spark creativity and develop writing voice:
1. Write fan-fiction.
Have you ever reached the end of a book and wished that it would continue? Or maybe you didn’t like the way it ended and would like to create an alternate one.
Whatever the case, fan fiction is a great way to expand your imagination, establish your writing voice, and have fun with your favorite characters and settings.
2. Participate in writing prompts.
On my blog, Christ is Write, I host a bi-weekly writing prompt contest for teens just like you.
My favorite prompts come from songs and photographs. In fact, the setting of my novel, PURPLE MOON, was inspired by a picture I came across of mountains outlining a lake.
As a teen, I spent my free time listening to my iPod on shuffle and writing a scene based on the song that played. Each time a new song came on, I would start writing a new scene.
3. Write in your journal every day.
Many authors, including Meg Cabot, proclaim that several of their story ideas come from their journals.
Try to write in your journal every day, even if it’s just a sentence. You could even try to turn one of your memories into a scene as well.
4. Write a book with a friend.
When I was a teen, my best friend and I wrote a book together. We didn’t plan the story.
Instead, we each created our own characters—so any time they would interact, we would take turns writing the dialogue. (Similar to playing Barbies, I guess you could say. 😉 )
Here’s a secret: One of my characters actually made her way into my YA novel, PURPLE MOON. (Cough, Hayden, cough.)
5. Make a list of potential book titles.
Listen to music. Read poetry. Is there a specific line that stands out?
You could also try to combine the titles of 3 of your favorite books to generate an entirely new title.
It is now, during your teen years, that you can have fun with writing, without worrying about the career aspect of it.
Keep your imagination open. Daydream often (just not during English class. Math class might be OK. — Kidding).
Take road trips, paint pictures, read books, and jot down any idea that pops into your head, no matter how bizarre.
Who knows? It might just turn into your future best-selling novel.
Any fun writing exercises for teens you’d like to add? Let me know in the comments!