Sunday, February 10, 2013

This Week's Practice Exercise



What You Don't Know (Version 2)



Prepared by Ruth Douillette
Posted: Sunday, 10 February 2013

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Exercise: In 400 words or less, write a scene in which a character's secret is discovered, and show how that revelation causes others to behave in ways that reveal their true nature.

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People are not always what they seem. They keep secrets, hide skeletons in closets, or don't speak of an illness they have. On a less somber note, they may downplay their wealth or status, or keep an achievement quiet. When such a secret is revealed, other people react in various ways. Writers can use such a situation to add conflict to a plot and to show their readers more about the characters involved.

An example of such a revelation might be when a husband survives a plane crash, and the stunned wife discovers that he had been traveling with another woman with whom he had had a child years before. Such a revelation might change not only the marriage, but also the husband and wife. What would the actions of these people tell us about their character and their feelings?

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Exercise: In 400 words or less, write a scene in which a character's secret is discovered, and show how that revelation causes others to behave in ways that reveal their true nature.

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Critique by discussing how the revelation changes the perspectives of the characters involved. What is learned about the characters from their response to what has been uncovered? Does the piece work or not? And, if so, why? How could it be improved?




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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