Tuesday, April 13, 2010

This Week's Practice Exercise

Gifts (Ver. 2)
Prepared by: Ruth Douillette
Revised and posted on: 11 April 2010

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Exercise: In 400 words or less, write a scene that shows the character receiving a life-changing gift and makes clear the nature of the change.

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Write a scene that shows how receiving a particular gift has changed a character's life. The gift may be a long awaited store-bought present, a surprise homemade gift, breakfast in bed, a compliment, some advice, or any other form of gift you choose.

Show how the character perceives the gift and why it has an impact on his or her life, for better or worse. You might show what the character gained or lost from getting this gift. Maybe relationships changed, or the importance of something came to light. Did the character grow in any way or learn something after receiving this gift?

"The Gift of the Magi," a short story by O. Henry, gives us a wonderful example of what two characters learned after giving and receiving gifts: (http://tinyurl.com/cygfe).

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Exercise: In 400 words or less, write a scene that shows the character receiving a life-changing gift and makes clear the nature of the change.

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Critique by commenting on the change in the character based on the gift. Is it a realistic change? Critique other aspects of the writing as 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 Writing Workshop.

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