Writing exercises are often useful when you feel like you are out of creative juice in cannot come up with a good idea. If you are in the right frame of mind, then short story ideas seem to come from everywhere once and appear and disappear faster than you can write them down. But sometimes, your mind feels just like a sludge factory and nothing comes out when you want to write. Of course, creative assistance always helps, but here are some writing exercises that are inspired by locations around your own home. They had been divided into five different genres so you can either choose the genre that you want or try to make the writing exercise listed fit into your own genre.

Horror: What’s in the Corner?

When it comes to horror, all you have to do is turn off the lights and you will get plenty of inspiration. Anyone with a vivid imagination can look around a dark room and imagine all kinds of monsters and terrifying things just by the shapes that exist before their eyes of adjusted to the dark. You might try this a few times and see if you can come up with something. Imagine there is something in the corner. Try to see what it looks like. Try to figure out what it is doing there. Try to think of a character who is lying in bed and rolls over to see that monster in the corner.

Fantasy: What Lives in Your Garden?

If you are looking for a fantasy story, then consider what kind of creatures might be living in your garden. Consider what clues they might give about who they are based upon the damage that they do to your plants and what they eat. Pretend that you caught a glimpse of them and then imagine where they went after they left your garden. Is there a secret portal that connects your backyard to some fantasy world? Do they live underground in a never before explored part of Earth?

Mystery: Who Keeps Digging in Your Yard?

If you keep noticing that someone is digging holes in your backyard while you are asleep at night, consider what kind of mystery you could make out of that. Did the person that owns your house before you rob a bank and then bury the lit underneath your yard? Did they just get out of prison or escape and are looking for it? These are all great ways to start a mystery.

Science-Fiction: What Are You Building?

If you are writing science fiction, then pretend you just got inspired to create some kind of never before seen or imagined device. What parts you use to build it? How long will it take you? What will the device ultimately do? In any case, it’s good to get some practice with Star Wars Fanfiction.

Humor: What Funny Stuff Happens around the House?

If you are trying to write humor than just walk around your house and observe the people interacting with you. Family can be one of the best sources of humor. Just look at the writings of Jean Shepherd.