Show Your Work | Pre-Writing

Welcome back to Show Your Work, the blog series where we challenge you to tackle an activity from one of our Courses.

Even if you’re entirely dedicated to creating a wondrous work of fiction, you’re likely to hit some roadblocks at some point. This is where pre-writing, and specifically Free Writing can help you. 

Free Writing is all about letting your mind take the story wherever it wants to go. It’s a mile-a-minute form of writing that fuels your creative impulses. 

This week’s activity from our Pre-Writing mini-course will help you free write the right way. Unlike our previous Show Your Work activities, this one you’ll need to do in your writing journal or in a private longform on Storybird. Free writing isn’t meant to be critiqued… it’s your own personal creative outlet to just let your ideas flow.

Have fun!

Show Your Work: Pre-Writing

Got writer’s block? If so, free writing might be the perfect solution.

Like the name suggests, free writing is about writing non-stop. Don’t worry if your sentence doesn’t makes sense. Don’t worry about how you’re going to prove your argument. Don’t even worry about grammar, punctuation, paragraphs, or spelling! Just make sure your fingers don’t stop moving. 

A free write of a detective story might look like this…

I have to write a detective story for class. I have zero ideas. ZERO ideas. Okay, a detective. How about a girl detective with perfect memory? Is that too Cam Jansen? Maybe she only has perfect memory some of the time. Like on Sundays. So she only solves crimes on Sundays? Or maybe the crimes never fall on a Sunday, and she always remembers useless information—that could be funny…

Like with brainstorming, if you hit a wall, move on. 

Once you’re done, read your free write. With a highlighter, mark all the sentences that you find promising or helpful. Not everything in your free write will get highlighted. For example, from the paragraph above, I might only keep…

Girl detective with a perfect memory—but she only remembers useless information.


1.  Pick a writing task. This can be a school assignment, a personal project, or something you made up right now. 

2.  Set a timer, and spend 10 minutes free writing. Don’t stop writing, no matter what you do. 

3.  Now, set your timer for 5 minutes and highlight the ideas you want to keep.

4.  Use this Free Writing Guide if you need more tips or suggestions!

Pre-Writing is one of the most important processes for any creative mind. Whether you’re just putting ideas down on paper, or you’re building the foundation of a fantastic fictional universe, organizing your ideas before seriously drafting your story content will ensure a higher level of quality. It’s the fuel your mind needs to start the journey. 

Along with free writing, Brainstorming is an incredibly valuable literary tool that can help lift your story off the ground and on to the page. Just listen to prep course instructor Miss Robinson talk about it. 

Get more tips with Miss Robinson, earn Crowns with quizzes, and sharpen your story building skills with this Pre-Writing mini-course.

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