Sunday, May 2, 2010

This Week's Practice Exercise

The sky is falling!
Prepared by: Carter Jefferson
Posted on: Sunday, May 2, 2010

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Exercise: In less than 400 words, write a scene in which at least two characters hear about a major disaster that has just happened, react to the news, and decide what to do next.

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Bad things happen. Choose you own disaster, or make one up, but it has to be big--numerous people must be killed. Some disasters you may have known about: airplanes bomb Pearl Harbor, a passenger ship sinks, a
spaceship blows up, a coal mine caves in, a tsunami hits a shore, an earthquake levels a city, terrorists destroy a huge building. Whatever catastrophe you invent can take place anywhere, at any time you decide.

A character might decide to rush to the recruiting office, volunteer to help search the debris, rescue passengers afloat in life belts, figure out how to avoid responsibility if their errors caused the trouble, go to a church and pray, give money to help survivors, major in criminal justice, ask how they can help--or even think about ways they could cause something equally bad to happen. You decide.

How do your characters hear about the disaster? How do they react? Do they weep, grab their guns, go online to get more news, holler to their friends on Facebook? What causes them to make the decisions they do?
Who do they ask for advice? Your scene will show us.

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Exercise: In less than 400 words, write a scene in which at least two characters hear about a major disaster that has just happened, react to the news, and decide what to do next.

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Critique: Is the scene believable? Are the characters real? What sort of people are they? Do we see how they make a decision? Do you want to know what happens next? How is the writing in general?



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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