Sunday, July 5, 2009

This Week's Practice Exercise

I Thought I Saw...

Prepared by Alice Folkhart
Posted on 5 July 2009

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Exercise:
Write a 400-word story that starts with "I thought I saw..."
You may write in first or third person.
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"I thought I saw..." is a fine opening for a fantasy or
sci-fi story, but also a good beginning for a mystery or
psychological novel, even a love story. Did the bride
think that she saw her groom's old girlfriend lurking
behind a pillar in the church? There's certainly a
story there. This exercise will give us practice in
exploring the great 'what if?' Think about how you'd
feel if you had seen something that you thought was
impossible or didn't exist--a dragon, an intergalactic
alien, a character from your favorite book, a dead lover.
Think about how you'd feel if you'd seen something you
weren't supposed to see--your parents hiding your birthday
present, the lady next door kissing the mailman, a friend
shoplifting. Would you doubt yourself, your eyesight, your
sanity?
_________________________

Exercise:
Write a 400-word story that starts with, "I thought I saw..."
You may write in first or third person.
_________________________

Critiquing: Did you find the
writer's take on "I though I saw... " Interesting? Scary?
Exciting? This is a good exercise to practice showing
instead of telling. Did the writer clearly relay what he
saw and what the consequences were? If you liked the piece,
tell the writer why, and if you didn't, please say what it
was that didn't work for you and what might have helped it
to be better.


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
(http://www.internetwritingworkshop.org/).


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