15 Minute Writing Exercise – You Are Unique

Picture of man and girl with words You are unique
You Are Unique Image Copyright © 2013 Joan Y. Edwards

“15 Minute Writing Exercise – You Are Unique” by Joan Y. Edwards

If I asked you to choose fifteen pieces of your favorite rainbow colored candy and place them in a design in front of you, your choice would be unique. They might choose the same colors, but probably not the same number of each and they wouldn’t create the same design as yours.  You are unique. 

Below are two exercises: Exercise A and Exercise B.  Even though everyone uses the same fifteen words, the stories you write will be different. Your life experiences, interests, and imaginations will determine what you write. Add to a work in progress, an old story, or write freely as it comes to you, but try to use all fifteen words in one of the exercises in your passage in fifteen minutes. Each exercise has six nouns, five verbs, and four adjectives. Verbs may be used as nouns. Nouns may be used as verbs. 


You’ll find this exercise and others to stimulate your brain and put life into your writing in Writing Open the Mind by Andy Couturier.

Using random words stirs up wondrous experiences and helps you create passages filled with life.   No one will use the same characters or situations. If you and another person have the same idea for a book, it will not turn out the same. It will not be identical. Why? It will be different because each author is unique.

Enjoy being you. Try this exercise. Ask a friend to try it, too. Compare your stories. They’ll be  different, but fun to read. Enjoy yourself. You are a Master Writer. You have a gift. Go for it.

Get out a sheet of paper or open a new document in Word or other word processor software.

  1. Copy the 15 listed words at the top of the page.
  2. Take one minute to read, study, and think about the 15 words.
  3. Set the timer for 15 minutes.
  4. Write for 15 minutes. Try to use all  fifteen words in your passage.
  5. At the end of your 15 minutes, read your passage aloud.
  6. Share your writing in a comment on this blog post or email it to me (joanyedwards1@gmail.com). 

Exercise A: There are five verbs, six nouns, and four adjectives.

  1. ice
  2. memory
  3. daughter
  4. color
  5. detail
  6. account
  7. begin
  8. volunteer
  9. modify
  10. discuss
  11. familiarize
  12. uppity
  13. necessary
  14. ripe
  15. wandering

Exercise B:  There are fifteen words: six nouns,  five verbs, and four adjectives.

  1. newscaster
  2. muscle
  3. tongue
  4. photograph
  5. post office
  6. barrel
  7. evaluate
  8. indulge
  9. advertise
  10. unveil
  11. annex
  12. sapling
  13. incredulous
  14. slippery
  15. spirited


I posted my Exercise A in the comments. I hope you will, too. Have a great day being you!

Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards, Author

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Copyright © 2009-2021 Joan Y. Edwards

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17 thoughts on “15 Minute Writing Exercise – You Are Unique”

    1. Dear Melanie,
      Thank you for saying you plan to do the two exercises and pist your results in the comment area. I appreciate it. It will be fun to see your results.

      Never Give Up
      You can do it

    2. Great exercise, Joan! This looks like fun and it’s such a short amount of time to spend doing something creative!

      1. Dear Pamela,
        So great to hear from you. I hope you and your hubby are doing well. I’m glad you think the writing exercise is a good one and looks like fun for a short amount of time doing something creative. I had fun doing it. It surprises you what you come up with. I hope you try it.

        Never Give Up

  1. Joan,
    This reminds me of my elementary school days. We often wrote stories using the weekly list of spelling words. I used to love it. Most people in class groaned when our teacher gave that assignment. Lol! I hope you have many takers!

    1. Dear Linda,
      Thank you for writing. Clever of your teacher to have students write a stiry with their spelling words each week. I am glad you enjoyed going down memory lane.

      Never Give Up
      You can do it

  2. My writing for exercise A:
    It was the first year they had ever had an ice castle contest in Riverton, Massachusetts.

    I did my best to familiarize myself with the rules. I wished they had asked me to make the rules. I’d modify a few of them.
    My neighbor’s daughter. Sonya, is entering. She seems very uppity for a new girl on the block. I have a few things about her brother that I’d like to discuss with her.
    She was a volunteer at the community center. Perhaps I could meet her there. Her brother had always had wandering-it is. Never stayed in one place more than six weeks. He surely was good-looking. It might be necessary for me to put on a show of color to be noticed by him. He was an artist after all. His paintings were scattered around the world. Would it be possible that he remembers the time we literally ran into each other in New York in the subway.

    I’ll ask Sonya if she’d like for me to bring some ripe bananas for her to make fresh banana pudding for the get together before the contest.

    I needed to check every last detail to be able to beat the opponents in this contest. But, did I care if I won or lost if I got to spend time with Jeremy to find out what makes him tick.
    I heard a sound behind me, “Hello, Tonya. I heard you had entered the ice castle contest, too. Do you need any help?”
    Tonya said, “Do you know anything about making ice castles?”
    Jeremey said, “I know how to draw them.”
    Tonya said, “That’s more than I can do. I’d appreciate some help.”
    “Won’t your sister want you helping her?
    “She’ll be fine.”

    Sonya comes over behind Jeremy. “Hi, brother of mine. You are going to help me build an ice castle for the contest, aren’t you?”

    Jeremy said, “No. I’m helping Tonya.”

    Sonya said, “You can’t do that. You promised me you’d help me.”

    Jeremy said, “I’ll help both of you. It’ll be fine.”

    Tonya said, “It’s okay, Jeremy. I’ll find someone else.”

  3. Fun story! 😀 I copied the exercise and lists and plan to share with my writing group at our next meeting. I’ll post mystery after. Great way to get ideas flowing. Thank you!

    1. Dear Shawn,
      Thank you for writing. I am very excited that you are going to share this exercise with your writing group. I hope they enjoy it. I look forward to seeing the results of the exercise with you and with them.
      I am thankful that you read my blog posts. Enjoy your day!

      Never Give Up

  4. Here’s my exercise A.

    The ice cracked and snapped in the frigid air bringing back a distant memory of teaching my daughter to skate on the frozen river.

    Nowadays, the weather doesn’t get cold enough to freeze the water sufficiently for outdoor activities unless you’re in a sheltered bay.

    I needed to familiarize myself with the depth of the water and account for the thickness of the ice before I went wandering too far. Why did I decide to volunteer to supervise this motley group of teenagers? Oh, yes. A necessary requirement on their way to obtaining their outdoor badges.

    Some of the parents were uppity and didn’t think a woman of colour was educated sufficiently to lead a group of children. They thought I was ripe for the picking – a detail on which they were sorely mistaken.

    That would be something to discuss with them later and modify their thinking.

    But to begin with, I had to get off the river before the ice cracked anymore and I was swept downriver.

    1. Dear Melanie,
      Thank you very much for sharing your Exercise A. You did an awesome job of creating tension and character in this passage.
      I appreciate you reading my blog and participating in this venture with me.

      Never Give Up

  5. And for B…

    A photograph of the centuries-old post office building filled the screen behind the newscaster. A spirited demonstration was taking part in front of the building. The structure was being torn down. Only the modern annex at the rear would remain, along with a maple sapling planted in memory of the family who founded the town and a barrel harkening back to its first use as a distillery. A nameplate on the cask advertised the brand.

    It would take more than a sharp tongue and muscle to stop the destruction. When the time came to unveil the architect’s drawings for the replacement, the crowd was incredulous and rushed towards the dignitaries.

    Police needed to evaluate the situation quickly, to prevent a riot. Water cannons were deployed, and the wet cobblestones became slippery, causing some of the protestors to fall, while others took the time to indulge in sliding.

    1. Dear Melanie,
      Thank you for sharing your exercise B. You painted a picture of the old post office that made a great vision in my mind. I appreciate you helping to make my blog more interesting by posting your passage here.

      Never Give Up

  6. This looks like fun. I am going to post this idea in my life storytelling FB group, but with fewer words. Many are writing for the first time, so I don’t want to overwhelm them. Thanks for sharing this idea!

    1. Dear JQ,
      Thanks for writing. I’m glad you’re going to share the Winter Writing Exercise with your FB life storytelling group.
      You could put all of the words and let them choose three of them to put in their stories. But you’ll figure that out.

      Believe in you
      Never Give Up

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