Tags: writing practice

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Writing Exercise: "Barbarians"


"Write of an encounter between two people who do not speak any common language.  It is important in this exercise to stick to one POV.  If you switch minds, you lose the pressure to try to present the mystifying foreign behavior in tangible, if not necessarily comprehensible, terms."

Post your ficlets here anonymously, and I'll put whatever we get up on Monday!  Comments are screened...

ETA:  I always forget to put a clear deadline on this, and I really shouldn't forget!  I just have a hell of a time with the time differences, lol.  Let's say the official deadline is... 7PM Eastern Standard Time, Monday July 6, and I should have them posted within a couple of hours of that.

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Writing Exercise: Colors

Colors: Write an exercise in which you repeatedly use two different colors. Describe these colors without naming them too often--and try to find effective synonyms for the colors without being too obvious about this disguise. How would two colors, appearing over and over again in different forms, affect the reaction of the reader?

Comments are screened, so leave a few hundred words anonymously and on Monday I'll number what's there and put them up for discussion!
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Workshop: Writing Exercise

Holy Imperative, Batman!  :)  We had eleven stories show up for this, and all of them are really interesting!  I actually sat and read and re-read them all a few times last night.  Because there are so many, I'll remind people not to feel pressured to comment on each one, just pick a few that particularly grabbed you.

It always intrigues me that when I write something for a prompt or challenge like this I assume that was the only way to write it.  And then I see what other people wrote and am amazed at the variety in ways people approach a vague exercise like this.  There were stories where it was made explicit who was speaking and being spoken to, stories where it was hinted enough I felt I could guess, stories where it remains a total mystery.  There's a huge range in tone and narrative approach as well.  And...I suppose I can give specific feedback in comments soon.  :)

I know I found it really hard to stay in the imperative form and ended up finding little "cheats" to allow me to do things other than make commands while still technically keeping the form, which was kind of fun.  :)

I'm giving each ficlet a number;  use them when you can because it'll make figuring out which story is being discussed about easier.  Maybe I should require a title if we do it again...

Oh, and feel free to post it in your own journal if you liked the results, of course!  If you do, could you send me a PM telling me you did (or at least that you don't need to stay anonymous anymore) and I'll link them in the next Open Thread so people can find out who's who?

You're all awesome and these made my day to read, every one of them.

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Writing exercise post

OK!  I'm hoping this isn't a total flop, but if everyone is busy we'll try again another day!

Here's how it goes:  all comments to this post are screened.  On Monday, I'll take them and put them together into one post.  You can write about anything you like...because of the comm it would be nice it it were superhero-related, but in 100-400 words it may well stay quite vague who's being written about.

Exercise:  Imperative. 

Write a fragment of a story entirely in the second-person imperative voice.  (For example, "Walk left.  Look over there.  Contemplate the pointlessness of existence.")  There are lots of directions this could go in, so feel free to try anything that tickles your fancy!  You can try to make it clear who is being talked to (and who is talking, although they may be one and the same) or you can leave it very vague.

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Open Thread: Oracle Hotline

Finished up a "sagging middle" story...and then discovered the plot needed a lot of work, lol.  But it's done!  It just needs mucho editing.  How was the week for all of you?


Also, I wanted to "preview" the experimental writing exercise for April 6, to give people time to think about it a bit.  The way it (might) work is:

1.  Write something (or somethings) for the exercise...with a goal of 100-200 words or so.
2.  I'll make a screened post so you can leave the bit of writing in an anonymous comment (I was going to have people email them, but that's not anonymous to me, lol).  You can leave more than one comment if you wrote more than one thing!
3.  On April 6, I'll collect whatever I've got and make a post with them in a numbered list.
4.  Discuss what worked for you, what you especially liked, what you would have liked to see more of--politely and encouragingly (is that a word?), of course.  This isn't so much an opportunity to critique someone else as a chance to compare what people come up with when given the same constraints on their writing, basically.  I've been thinking about screening comments...not because I'm assuming people will be rude, but so that people can write with more comfort that any unfortunate random trolls won't be able to abuse the system.  I could also maybe members-lock the post.  I'd love to get some feedback on this, lol...
5.  If you want to post your snippet in your LJ, please do!  If you want to remain anonymous forever, that's also okay!

The exercises will probably mostly be taken from a book by Brian Kitely called The Three A.M. Epiphany, which is full of brief writing exercises to practice style with.  They're deliberately contrived and artificial...meant to produce a snippet of practice work rather than a full story, really.  More a chance to play with words than a starter-idea for a full story.  Some of them are kind of funny and interesting and I've been tempted to try them...but without a group of people trying the same thing to compare results with, it's not as much fun.

Exercise picked somewhat at random: 

Write a fragment of a story that is made up entirely of imperative commands:  Do this;  do that;  contemplate the sight of the person walking out of your life.  This is a variant on second-person POV;  the "you" may be obvious or not so much.  The narrator doing the speaking might be another character, the "you" talking to youself, or an omniscient voice.