How in the World? - writercize #AtoZChallenge 3.8

Please note: writercize (a portmanteau of write and exercise with a z for ... a twist? fun? street cred?) is participating in the A to Z Challenge through the month of April with alphabetical writing prompts. I'm skipping the stories behind the prompts so you can spend more time practicing and less time reading! Please participate, and enjoy!

writercize: Write about how something happens, or how something works.

You may pick any topic in the world (or beyond!), but here are a few questions to get you started:

  • How do clouds form?
  • How do birds fly?
  • How do seeds turn to plants?
  • How does the tooth fairy know when to visit?
  • How do animals know how to swim?

Fiction and nonfiction writers alike can benefit from an exercise to uncover how things work. 

Fiction writers may tap into mythology or creative writing to come up with a fictional account of how real things happen, or create a believable answer to a false premise. 

Nonfiction writers can brush up on research as well as writing clarity and organization skills.
I love reading your comments and especially your writercize results, so please, drop me a line to let me know if this worked for you! Better yet, share your attempt with the world in your comment! 

Click "read more" for writercizer (fictional) sample response. 

writercizer sample response:

(complete and utter fiction)

How do clouds form?

Long ago, when the earth was flat, the sun warmed every corner of the earth around the clock. The oceans, fields and mountains all faced the sun and were happy and warm. Daylight filled the sky and there was no night.

One day, the moon visited the earth and thought it looked like a nice companion to stay close to in the vast expanse of universe. The whirling blues and greens looked lovely compared to the browns, reds and grays the moon had seen in other places.

But every time the moon stood to watch the earth's vibrant colors, the earth complained that it cast shadows and darkness and blocked the sun's rays. When the moon stood on the back side of the flat earth, it felt cold and lonely, and always crept back to the beautiful colors.

The earth, tired of the moon's shade but enthralled by the way it could spin and dance while the earth stayed flat, finally gave in to the moon's request for friendship. But in doing so, the earth asked the moon to stay out of the way of the sun and quit casting shadows. 

The moon agreed.

Then the earth asked the moon if it too could spin and dance. It tried a few times while it was flat, but it felt awkward and uncoordinated. The moon offered to help, and told the earth that spheres were capable of spinning and dancing much better than rectangles. So the earth balled itself up and began to spin and dance, with the sun on one side and the moon on the other. It was having so much fun that it did not notice the shade and darkness when turned away from the sun.

Eventually, the excitement wore off and the earth began to slow its dance. As it did, it realized that it was very, very cold on the dark side. However, the dark side was the only place the earth could see its friend the moon. The sunny side was warm and relaxing, but lacked the fun and closeness of the night.

Every once in a while, earth dreamed of becoming flat and warm again, but it knew it would miss the joy of the dance and the friendship of the moon. So, the earth asked the moon what she could do.

The moon said that she had seen some planets along her travels coated in blankets where they were cold. 

The earth thought a blanket sounded like a wonderful solution, so she asked the moon how to make one. The moon said that it seemed the other planets gathered liquids and gases close together to form the blanket, then loosened them up and let them sprinkle back to earth when they were too warm and ready to cool off.

So the earth asked her water to rise up and hold tightly together. The water did, and the earth found herself wrapped up in a thick puffy blanket. When the earth turned back to the sun, she was too hot under her blanket. She called it back down to the earth in drops of rain water to cool off.

Thus, the earth entered into a time of night and day, with seasons of summer, spring, winter and fall, wrapping herself in warm blankets when she was cold and calling the water back to earth in raindrops when she was hot.


  1. I love the idea of writer prompts to get our creative juices flowing. I'll let you know how these work out for me!

    Lyre at Lyre's Musings #atozchallenge

  2. I did a similar activity with my students when I taught. I had them ask a question about the world and had them create an utterly fictitious story explaining how or why something was the way it was. I attached it to our myth, legend, and folktale unit. I was always pleasantly surprised by the results.

  3. Hi Alana!
    It was so good to hear from you!
    I haven't writercized for so long!
    I need to jump back into it - soon hopefully - after the baby - maybe!
    Right now it's all I can do to keep running. That's why I started the separate blog just focused on running. It's still writing but easier to make time for since it compliments the running and the pregnancy. I have a list a mile long about stuff to write about, but I can't find the time to actually write it.

    I could do this exercise based on one of my daughter's many daily questions!

  4. Hi Alana .. I loved this story ... beautiful ..and a clever way of answering all those questions! cheers Hilary


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