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Even the most accomplished full-time fiction and nonfiction writers experience lulls when working on a novel, short story, essay, theater script, or screenplay. Some writers may feel a sinking suspicion that they’re recycling story ideas, themes, and character archetypes. Other authors may experience an outright case of writer’s block, where they can do little but stare at a blank page. Whether you’re brainstorming ideas for a magazine article or slogging through the first draft of a 50,000-word novel, shaking things up with a creative writing exercise can help you develop your writing skills and unlock your creativity.