Category Archives: Writing tools

Self-analyzing

From James N. Frey’s How to Write a Damn Good Novel, here are some suggestions for critiquing your own work.

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Planning characters

One way to characterize is for your character to make a plan. The kind of plan the character makes, the level of formality with which it is made, how the character responds when things go according to their plan, how … Continue reading

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2250 Words and metaphors

Consider these two additional pages from Kooser.

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Characterization and work

This exercise has its roots in Benjamin Percy’s excellent Thrill Me: Essays on Fiction, specifically the “Get a Job” chapter. Characterize by writing about the character’s job. Address at least the following prompts: How did the character get the job? … Continue reading

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Humor

Thrill Me mentions repose in contrast with action. Could humor work as well? From the excellent 3 A.M. Epiphany, consider these two exercises. Draft an example of one that might work for your fiction portfolio.

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Beginnings

  This exercise comes from Brian Kiteley’s excellent book The 3 A.M. Epiphany. We’ll talk about and slightly alter the exercise during class. After that exercise, complete this one. Constrast the two.

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Blurring character and plot

Think about your English 412R fiction portfolio by writing out answers to these questions. Your answers are not promises. Page numbers refer to Percy’s Thrill Me. What does your character look like? What do they like to think about? Hate … Continue reading

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