Sunday, May 17, 2009

This Week's Practice Exercise

Oh God, Why Me? Version 3

Prepared by: Rhéal Nadeau
Revised and reposted on: May 17, 2009

In 300 words, write a scene with someone faced with a series of unfortunate events. The author may choose between internal (man vs. himself) or external forces (man vs. man, man vs. nature) for your character. The concept, of small things leading to big consequences, is a very valuable tool in story-telling. Show the readers how the characters deal with each event. How does the character react to these events? Does the character feel anger or self pity? Does the character persevere or change direction?

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A necessary element in fiction, as in life, is conflict. Conflict creates tension, raises challenges, and adds suspense to a story. There are many types of conflict, and just as many ways to categorize them. In short stories, the focus will usually be on a single type of conflict. In longer works, we'll usually find a mixture of conflicts. The conflict may not always be a single epic challenge, but a series of conflicts that become an obstacle for the character.
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In 300 words, write a scene with someone faced with a series of unfortunate events. The author may choose between internal (man vs. himself) or external forces (man vs. man, man vs. nature) for your character. The concept, of small things leading to big consequences, is a very valuable tool in story-telling. Show the readers how the characters deal with each event. How does the character react to these events? Does the character feel anger or self pity? Does the character persevere or change direction?
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When critiquing, look at what forces are at play, and how the events unfold. Does the character react in a credible - and interesting - way? If anything stretches credibility, say so. On the other hand, also point out the things that work well.


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
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