Saturday, October 20, 2012

This Week's Practice Exercise




Opening Up (Version 2)


Prepared by: Pam Hauck
Posted by Norman Cooper
Posted on Sunday, October 21, 2012

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Exercise: In 400 words or less, write an opening for a story or novel that will make your readers want to know more, to turn the page and keep going.

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Read the opening paragraphs of a novel or story you like. Does it start with a bang or more subtly, planting a question or a seed? What in the opening makes you want to continue reading?

The best stories grab a reader's attention immediately. Whether you are writing a short story, novel or memoir, your first few paragraphs must persuade a reader to turn the page and see what happens next.
Thus an effective opening is essential.

Three ways to rivet your reader are often cited: promise a fascinating plot, portray a character who demands to be known better, or write prose that enchants the reader from the start. There may be others.

For this exercise, you are asked to write something that will make us all want you to go on for pages more. Don't attempt to write a complete story--write only the opening that will keep your readers glued to your page.

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Exercise: In 400 words or less, write an opening for a story or novel that will make your readers want to know more, to turn the page and keep going.

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In your critiques, explain what makes you want to read more, or why you think the writer has failed in the effort. As always, discuss the writing as a whole.





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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