story writing 1

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Exercise #1 (PLEASE LABEL YOUR EXERCISES WHEN YOU SUBMIT THEM as Exercise 1, Exercise 2, Exercise 3)

Write the beginning of the following short story, following the prompt below. This should take you about 30 minutes. The final result should be 250 words.

Prompt #1 –Imagine a leader walks into a room. The leader asks to see the person in charge…

What you need to consider here: who is the leader? What is the setting (concrete, sensory details)? What does the leader want? How does this ‘person in charge’ react? What happens next?

Exercise #2

Write the beginning of a second story, following the prompt below. This should take you a little less time 20 minutes because you have already done some of the thinking. This exercise should also be 200-250 words.

Prompt #2 — A low-level worker, or even a vagrant/homeless person, walks into the same setting as above and asks to see the person in charge.

Please note there are NO right or wrong responses to these prompts– what I am looking for is that you start a story with each of these prompts and describe a character, a setting, and the rising of tension and conflict. And yes, I am looking for you to write to word count — 250 words for each prompt.

Exercise #3

This exercise should take you about 30 minutes. READ over what you have written. Even consider this: read it out loud. Does each story have enough detail to describe your main character and what he or she wants as they enter that room? Is the room described in concrete details? In particular, is it clear what is at stake? What is ‘triggering’ this character to act? Why we are starting the story at this moment, on this occasion?

Now, that you have read over your two stories: Answer the question below. The answers may be short –100 words each:

What did you like and/or dislike about these exercises?

What was your greatest challenge with these exercises?

Which exercise was easier to write and why? Why was the other exercise more of a challenge to write?

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