Writing Challenge #18: Solution Freewriting

Today’s Writing Challenge comes from Melissa Donovan of Writing Forward.

Solution freewriting is a technique for solving problems in your writing projects. Start by writing the problem across the top of the page. Try to form it into a question. Then, write. Allow yourself to explore tangents and be emotional. You may find that you write yourself right into a solution. Some examples include the following: How can I explain the mystery I created for my story? What is missing from this poem? How can I better argue my position in this essay?

This exercise is from Melissa’s amazingly useful book, 101 Creative Writing Exercises. Thanks for sharing, Melissa!

About Laura Stanfill

Publisher, Forest Avenue Press
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16 Responses to Writing Challenge #18: Solution Freewriting

  1. Freewriting is definitely a great tool for sorting through things. I like the idea of putting the focus of your freewrite at the top.

  2. beatbox32 says:

    I love this exercise and use it a lot (though still not as often as I should). Thanks for sharing!

  3. Interesting. This is much more formal and organized than the things I do, but I believe the thinking is the same. If I have a problem (well, when 🙂 ), I can’t solve it by making lists and spreadsheets. It’s not the way my mind works. But I can’t solve it by ignoring it either (as Alanis teaches us, the only way out is through). So, I have it in the back of my mind, and I (this is the way I think of it) lean into it. Exerting some amount of patient pressure as I write, but remaining calm. And then, at some point. as the Quakers say, the way opens.

  4. jmmcdowell says:

    I have used this exercise, and it really does help! If only I would remember to use it more often. 😉

    • I changed the order of things in my novel, and now a character who gives a solution to my protagonist isn’t needed, because the problem is fixed by the time they meet. So I need to create a new problem for the character to fix (he’s a doctor and he’s needed later in the novel so I can’t cut him out). I think I’ll try Solution Freewriting to find a new problem for my protag, which will then become a solution. Hmm.

  5. 4amWriter says:

    Asking questions is one of the best ways to get out of a writing jam.

  6. Hi Laura,

    I just wanted to say thanks for sharing this exercise with your readers. Going through all the responses has been quite inspiring! I’m so glad you’re enjoying 101 Creative Writing Exercises. Keep writing!

    • Thanks so much for agreeing to participate in my Writing Challenge series, Melissa! It’s always fun to hear how people respond to a particular exercise, and there were some great comments this time around.

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