Sunday, April 8, 2007

IWW Practice Exercise, April 8, 2007

Prepared by: Carter Jefferson
Posted on: April 8, 2007

Exercise: Fire!


Exercise: In 400 words or less, create the first scene of a story, novel, or creative non-fiction essay. Let fire play a significant part in that opening, and show its effect on the characters.


Fire can keep us warm or force us out into the cold. It can light a birthday candle or ignite a fuse, illuminate the pages of a book or destroy a library. Like an unruly servant, it can be enormously helpful or bring on disaster. It's been so important through the ages that it used to be considered one of the four elements of which the entire cosmos consists.

Great fires like the ones in London in 1666, Chicago in 1871, and Boston in 1872 have influenced history. Authors as different as Shirley Hazzard, Patricia Cornwell, and Nora Roberts have used fire, metaphoric or real, as backdrops for best-selling novels. In this exercise, you must light a fire, or discover one, and show how it affects your characters.

Your scene will be an opening; make sure it will leave readers anxious to know what happens next in your creation.

Previous exercises are archived.

Carter Jefferson, Co-Administrator Practice List

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