Writing Exercise: The 3 page Short Story

Hello everyone. Not much to update on this time around. However, while this brief opportunity is open I’d like to share another writing exercise with you. This one is called: The 3 Page Story

1. The story must be 3 pages.
2. The story must have a story arc with a proper beginning middle and end.
3. The story must be readable, meaning if you print out the three pages, the average person can read it without squinting. Single or double space is up to you.
4. Apply at least one stipulation.
I’ve written a few below to get you started.


A. E-PRIME: Do not use the following words: Am, Is, Was, Were, Are, Be, Been, Being, Become, Became

B. FANTASY: Dragons, Elves, Fairies, Castles, Orcs, King, Queen, Prince, Princess, Orc, Magic

C. SCIENCE FICTION: Hyper-drive, Warp drive, Starship, Spaceship, Clone, Teleport, Alien,

D. ROMANCE: Love, Heart, Soul, Wedding, Poetry, Rose, Kiss, Tender, Warm

E. MAN WITH NO NAME: the main character’s name is never revealed

F. EVOKE: List 10-20 random words you believe the story should have or shouldn’t have.

G. SWITCH TEAMS: Write from the opposite gender’s point of view.

H. RANDOM: Pick random words out of the dictionary or a hat, or a random word generator app.

I have other examples but 8 is more than enough. The purpose of this exercise is to strengthen your writing muscles.

Got writers block? Try this and let your imagination run wild. Scene giving you trouble? Try writing it in 3 pages using a set of words that best describe it. Tend to over certain words and phrases? Try writing a 3 page story where you are forbidden from using those words.

The best art doesn’t come from comfort. Comfort means lazy. And a lazy brain is not challenged and therefore not stimulated. What stimulates writing muscles? Stipulations. Rules, limits, a mental cage. By forcing yourself to follow certain guidelines your mind starts working on finding ways to break those same guidelines or use them to your advantage. Can’t say ‘The light is red?’ Because your stipulations forbid you from using the verb ‘to be’. You find another way and say ‘The light turned red.’
The best way to build any muscle, the brain included,is by challenging it. So write your own stipulations and see if you can meet the challenge they present. The results might shock you.


About berleykerr

A Steampunk Author from Los Angeles.
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