1). Rewrite an old story from another character’s perspective. Not only does it help you flesh out that characters personality, you get a firmer grasp on the situation.
2). Go back to old stories you’ve written (I’m talking really embarrassing 13-15 year old ones), and rewrite them. You have to keep the story exactly the same, no matter how cliche or stupid.
3). Pick one of your favourite authors (or better yet, one that you hate) and parody them. Look at what really makes their style theirs and completely nail it. Pistache by Sebastian Faulks is what inspired me to start doing this, his parody of Dan Brown trying to work out the mysteries of the ATM is cripplingly accurate.
4). Oulipian constraints are a lot of fun to write with. If anyone doesn’t know, they’re rules that you set yourself before writing a piece of work that you have to follow throughout. So you can ban yourself from using the letter ‘k’ or ‘e’. They get tiring pretty quick but they’re useful for making you think in creative ways. The online N+7 generator is a personal favourite.
5). Take two stories you never finished and combine them. The wackier, the better. If you have a love story and a sci-fi story about fighting an evil space broccoli then your challenge is to make the main character of both the same person and work out how they got from crying over some girl at the local coffee shop, to saving the world from intergalactic threat.
6). If you’re writing a scene in a forest, write the scene in a forest. This one isn’t as easy as the others and may be plain impossible for some of you, but those who have the ability to go to places similar to the ones they’re writing, should. It’s the little things that you forget about these places that take your writing to a whole new level. Writing the five senses is easy; just breath in, listen, or look around you and you have them written accurately.
7). Give closure to the stories you’re working on, either by finishing them or moving on. Nothing blocks creativity like a previous work looming over your shoulder as prepare for another.
8). Read a style or genre that’s outside of your comfort zone and then try to emulate it in a short story or piece of flash fiction.
9). Write deleted scenes from your current story. They don’t have to fit into the story in anyway, they can be completely anachronistic or unrealistic but it’s an exercise in character development. This is useful if you don’t know how to advance the plot, write short throwaway paragraphs; they could soon evolve into plots of their own or help you to further flesh out a character. The same goes for if you’ve finished a story and want to write more but don’t have enough for a sequel, deleted scenes and alternative endings are always fun and worthwhile to write even if you don’t show anyone.
10). It’s cliche, but relax! If you’re afflicted by a writer’s block and creatively drained, don’t write. No writing at all is better than forced writing.