Friday Writing Exercise 0 Comments

Friday Writing Exercise

As you could probably tell from the above image, today’s writing exercise is about narrative escalation. Forgive the terrible pun – it is Friday, after all.

Are you finding that sometimes your narrative arc flat-lines? Is it more like an airport travelator than the glorious rising machine that is the escalator? Not today, friend. With this simple writing exercise you will find your narrative working harder, better, faster and stronger for you.

I pinched this writing exercise from Ola Animashawun, a fantastic dramaturg, script editor and part-time associate from the Royal Court Theatre. I was lucky enough to get some tips from him at the Fresh Ink National Playwright’s Studio.

This is a great one to unlock your imagination and let possibility take over before locking yourself into a contract of ‘my character wouldn’t do that’ or ‘that doesn’t fit the narrative arc!’ You can (and should!) raise the stakes with every line and see how far your story goes.

To get cracking, start with an event, circumstance or act – preferably something that involves some action. Then, straight after, ask ‘why?’ I’ll start.

A man puts his foot through a window. Why?


The next sentence directly answers the ‘why?’ and begins with ‘because…’ Try to keep the response in the active voice if you want an extra challenge. (For a fun tip on how to identify the passive voice, click here.)

Because his left eye blacked out when he aimed for the door. Why?



Continue with this structure until you have a few solid paragraphs. Enjoy!

By Izzy Roberts-Orr

Izzy Roberts-Orr is 21, really tall for her age and a brand new addition to the Voiceworks editorial committee. She writes poems and plays and is currently studying professional communications at RMIT University. Izzy tweets at @izasmiz and her work can be found at

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