Content writing is more than just practicing the best headlines, hooks, and captivating ideas. It’s storytelling.
Not necessarily like the “once upon a time” storytelling, but in order to capture the attention of your audience, whether it’s in a newsletter or even a blog post like this, you’ll want to take your audience on a little journey from point A to point B.
Now, in order to master the art of earning your audience’s attention, you not only have to read a lot, but you also have to write. A lot. There’s no avoiding it. So let’s talk about how you can practice your content writing…using fiction.
Before we get into it, I have a free gift for you! It’s a new year, so it’s a great time to start 2022 off right with a little portfolio boost—so I’ve made a guide for you that walks you through all different types of writing samples you can create on your own at any time. Check it out below and feel confident about your work:
You can practice writing blog posts, social media content, press releases, and newsletter articles to enhance your skills, but how about writing fiction? I love writing fiction to improve as a content writer—and there are many reasons why, including:
- Fiction writing makes you think outside of the box. With marketing and content writing, this is always a necessary skill to capture your audience’s attention.
- It forces you to decide what makes a captivating story. In marketing, we always want to be conscious of what our main message is and how the details around that message will support it, essentially telling a story to illustrate your point.
- You’ll work different writing muscles. As writers, we learn from different experiences, and this includes the experience of writing in different styles, topics, and genres.
- You’ll practice managing different elements of a message. In fiction, you’ll have different characters, places, plot lines, and maybe even different worlds in one story. Just like you may have different concepts, educational points, and real-life examples in your content writing—a lot to manage all at once to create one captivating piece.
- It develops your skill of how to present the full picture of an idea. Like I said in the intro, you’ll need to take your characters (and readers) from point A to point B in fiction, just like your audience in your content writing. For example, for this blog post, I am telling you that fiction writing is good for your content writing skills (point A) and explaining why (point B).
And good news! By signing up to receive my guide for your writing portfolio, you will also receive a full year of writing prompts the following day!
So, below is the first week of writing prompts I created for you, and by downloading the full year of writing prompts, you’ll have a prompt ready for you every single day for the next 365 days. All you have to do is write a story using the word or words in each prompt.
Some only have one word or idea, and others have a few unrelated words you will have to work together somehow. Some are normal, some are super random. But be creative! Are you up for the challenge? Here is the first week:
- Ravage, hardship
- Peaches, baseball
- A bug landed on you
- You are on a plane and smell donuts
- Waiting in line for coffee
- On the beach
- At a circus
Responses to each prompt can be as long or short as you feel it needs. Any practice is good practice. And if you’re feeling good about any of your responses, share your favorite lines you wrote in the comments below!
I wouldn’t tell you to practice without doing it myself, so here is my response for day two below. Enjoy!
Prompt: Peaches, baseball
There ain’t much to do during the summers other than steal peaches from Mr. Kooper.
Last summer, it was just me and Derik. Mr. Kooper had so many peaches in his trees and we never thought he would ever notice. We would sometimes manage to steal a couple, but never really ate ‘em. We just enjoyed the thrill.
One hot day, we were back at it again. We crept along the bushes on Mr. Kooper’s yard that led to the peach trees and could see him inside the house. But dang it, this wasn’t gonna be the day we were caught, no sir. Just a few more steps…one, two, three, and bam! Go time.
I ripped two of the lowest peaches and clutched them in my hands. They were the size of baseballs and I could already smell their sweet juices. Derik grabbed a few and held ‘em in his shirt, piling in more and more by the second. I reached for another, slipped on a rotting one, and grunted as I hit the ground.
My peaches scattered all over the ground. Derik asked me if I was okay and I shushed him as quiet as I could, but it was too late…a window flew open on the side of the house.
“You kids! Get outta my yard!” a deep, cracked voice screamed.
Derik pulled me up by my collar and we started to run, but Mr. Kooper was already comin’ out of the side door and runnin’ after us.
Derik started to run, but I couldn’t abort mission without at least one peach. So I bent down to grab just one, which gave Mr. Kooper enough time to sling me over his shoulder. I threw the peach to Derik.
“Save yourself!” I screamed at Derik. He was out of sight within seconds.
Mr. Kooper started cursing at me, every name in the book. Some I hadn’t even heard of yet. I wriggled in his grasp, but he held on tight. He jiggled the handle of the door and cursed at that, too. It wouldn’t open.
I thought fast.
“You know, my dad’s a locksmith. He’s taught me some real good tricks to pick a lock. I could help ya, Mr. Kooper.” I wriggled some more, but could barely budge. “To make up for stealin’ your peaches. We were just havin’ fun anyways, I swear.”
“You wouldn’t know how to pick a lock if your life depended on it, ya punk!”
“I swear, Mr. Kooper! I swear on my…my dog’s grave!”
I wriggled some more. I could tell he was gettin’ tired of holding me up on his shoulders like that. Was only a matter of time ‘til the old man gave up.
The door knob wasn’t fixin’ itself by Mr. Kooper just sittin’ there rattlin’ it like a mental person, so he let me down while cursin’ under his breath.
“Ya see, you just gotta find a real tiny little stick. Even a peach stem could work.” I stepped towards the peach tree, thinkin’ I was real smooth. Mr. Kooper held onto my shirt that was now drenched in sweat. I plucked a stem off of a peach and showed him.
I felt his grip on my shirt. He wasn’t lettin’ go. Derik probably thought I was a dead boy by now.
I started talkin’ nonsense about how the stem replicated a good tooth pick and whatever else I thought to blab on about to buy some time to think. And when I knew I really had his attention, I ripped off my shirt—leavin’ it to him as a souvenir—and bolted down the yard and back to Derik’s house the fastest I ever ran in my entire life.
We weren’t interested in no peaches any more that summer.
Now it’s your turn. Have fun and embrace this new style of writing. It’s good to break up your writing with different challenges and genres, so enjoy it and you may surprise yourself.