Saturday, June 6, 2009

This Week's Practice Exercise

What You Don't Know (Version 2)

Prepared by: Ruth Douillette
Revised and posted on: 7 June 2009

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Exercise: In 400 words or less, write a scene in which a
character's secret is discovered, and show how that
revelation causes others to behave in ways that reveal
their true nature.

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People are not always what they seem. They keep secrets,
hide skeletons in closets, or don't speak of an illness
they have. On a less somber note, they may downplay their
wealth or status, or keep an achievement quiet. When such
a secret is revealed, other people react in various ways.
Writers can use such a situation to add conflict to a plot
and to show their readers more about the characters involved.

An example of such a revelation might be when a husband
survives a plane crash, and the stunned wife discovers that
he had been traveling with another woman with whom he had had
a child years before. Such a revelation might change not only
the marriage, but also the husband and wife. What would the
actions of these people tell us about their character and their
feelings?

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Exercise: In 400 words or less, write a scene in which a
character's secret is discovered, and show how that
revelation causes others to behave in ways that reveal
their true nature.

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Critique by discussing how the revelation changes the
perspectives of the characters involved. What is learned
about the characters from their response to what has been
uncovered? Does the piece work or not? And, if so, why?
How could it be improved?



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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