Sunday, August 12, 2012

This Week's Practice Exercise

Good Samaritan

Prepared by: Alice Folkart
Posted on Sun, August 12, 2012

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In 400 words or less describe a good deed and its consequences.

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Show what happens when someone helps someone else. Does the story end there, or go on? Is the help useful and in time? Is it embarrassing?

Some people are afraid to do a good deed, afraid that it will involve them in someone else’s life. Some people are afraid to help an injured person because they could be sued by that person or her family, injuries blamed on their efforts?

What would happen if we helped a little old man who has fallen down on the sidewalk, or calmed a toddler who has become separated from her mother, or instituted a neighborhood-wide effort to help a family in trouble? When we’ve got money, would any of us think to anonymously pay for the groceries of a poor mother with a grocery cart only half full of the most basic foods and several hungry-looking children trailing her?

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In 400 words or less describe a good deed and its consequences.

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In your critique consider whether the writer has described both the situation and the emotions. Do we ‘see’ the people and place? What do we think of the character’s efforts to help someone? Would we have done the same? Does the piece make you want to read on and find out what happens?

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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