Category Archives: Writing tools
Consider this exercise from the making of a story by Alice LaPlante: Write about an event in your character’s past without which the current situation couldn’t exist. Write about the current situation from the point of view of a character … Continue reading
Consider exercise #197 from The 3 A.M. Epiphany by Brian Kiteley: Embracing the mystery. Write a brief description of something you do not understand about the story or novel you are working on. It is quite likely you’ll begin to … Continue reading
Consider this Q and A exercise from Brian Kiteley’s outstanding The 3 A.M. Epiphany.
From the outstanding Metro: Journeys in Writing Creatively by Hans Ostrom, Wendy Bishop, and Katherine Haake, consider this exercise about names.
Answer each of the following questions. Use just one sentence in each answer. How did your protagonist get involved in the story? What conflict arises to move the novella forward? What is the broad setting of your novella? What is … Continue reading
Interview at least two other characters about the main character: How well do they know him or her? What do they know about him or her that he or she does not know about themselves? Do they think of the … Continue reading
Answer these questions as a way to help create a character or characters. When the questions mention “you” think of the character. If they mention “we” or a partner, either think of another character or yourself. The questions are the … Continue reading
Here are some steps toward a quick rough draft. Read all the steps first. Make a quick, tentative plan before you start. Quick beginnings: Start with an interesting bit of language Something you overheard eavesdropping or A phrase that is … Continue reading
How much do you need to plan a short story before you begin writing it? Consider Donald Barthelme’s essay “Not-knowing.”
We’ve been talking about autobiography and fiction in class. Charles Baxter and Peter Turchi’s Bringing the Devil to His Knees includes Margot Livesey’s essay, which is closely related to our conversation.