Reposted on: Sunday, 6 July 2008
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
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.
These exercises were written by IWW members and administrators to provide structured practice opportunities for its members. You are welcome to use them for practice as well. Please mention that you found them at the Internet Writers Workshop.