Sunday, August 15, 2010

This Week's Exercise

Emotion Expressed
Based on an exercise by Terri Main used at Reedley College, California
Reposted on: August 15, 2010
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Exercise: Use the seven-line guide below to write a short "poem." Then, in 400 words or less, turn the sensory images in the poem into a short scene that shows a character experiencing the emotion you chose. Include both the poem and the scene in your submission.
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Directions: Use the template below to write a "poem." It will force you to focus on the sensory manifestations of a particular emotion.

Line One: A one-word title which is an emotion
Line Two: A line that tells what that emotion looks like visually
Line Three: A line that tells what that emotion sounds like
Line Four: A line that tells what that emotion smells like
Line Five: A line that tells what that emotion feels like tactilely
Line Six: A line that tells what that emotion tastes like
Line Seven: A one word emotional synonym for the title

An example:

Fear

Eyes darting, checking beside, behind
Heartbeat drumming a staccato rhythm
deodorant fails
hands tremble; skin itches
the salty taste of sweat on the lips
Prison

Next, take the lines from the "poem" and incorporate them into a scene that shows the physical actions and responses of a character who experiences the emotion. Try to include at least four of the five senses in your scene.
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Exercise: Use the seven-line guide above to write a short "poem." Then, in 400 words or less, turn the sensory images in the poem into a short scene that shows a character experiencing the emotion you chose. Include both the poem and the scene in your submission.
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Critique by commenting on how well the senses convey the emotion by showing, rather than telling. Is the emotional response realistic?

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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