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Help me study for my English class. I’m stuck and don’t understand.Exercise A: A Given First LineWrite the beginning of a story—approximately two paragraphs or 200-300 words—that starts with one of the three lines below (or a different line that your instructor provides as a prompt). Use the line as a jumping off point to see where the narrative will lead you. Note that this is not intended to be a completed work; just use this as a way to commence creative thought. Let it take you somewhere unexpected.”If only _____ had/hadn’t . . .” (theme: regrets)”. . . was/were not what it seemed . . .” (theme: false appearances)”______ had imagined this moment so many times, but never expected . . .”Examples:Their marriage was not what it seemed.
The job offer was not what it seemed.
The adoption agency was not what it seemed.
If only I hadn’t left her alone that night . . .
If only Beth had taken the rumors seriously . . .
If only they hadn’t stepped into that elevator with him . . .
Frankie had imagined this moment so many times, but never expected it to result in a trip to the ER.
Jung Eu had imagined this moment so many times, but never expected to actually be sent off to war.
Readers love regret, false appearances, and intrigue. By letting them know that something or someone is not what he/she/it seems, that something has gone seriously wrong, or that something unforeseen has occurred, you create a narrative drive, and the reader naturally wants to know more.The power of these simple prompts lies in their ability to start in medias res. Throwing your reader—and yourself—right into the action can open up possibilities immediately and help to avoid too much exposition that might slow the reader down. Exercise B: Tipping or Turning Point”I’m interested in memory because it’s a filter through which we see our lives, and because it’s foggy and obscure, the opportunities for self-deception are there. In the end, as a writer, I’m more interested in what people tell themselves happened rather than what actually happened.”–Kazuo IshiguroChoose one of the three pivotal situations below. Write a 250-600 word story (or beginning of a story) that shows one of the following:When you first learned that you wouldn’t live forever. This is a question about mortality. Recall an incident as a child where death came to mean what you know it to mean as an adult.
When you learned about love outside of the realm of family. When did you first fall in love? What happened?
When you first realized that your parents weren’t infallible, omniscient or omnipotent.
Although the prompts above use the word “you,” you aren’t required to write directly from your own life. If it feels more comfortable, you may create a fictional character and situation; however, you’ll want to draw from your true experienced emotions.Remember, too, that your exercise should be written as a story, not an essay. “Show, don’t tell.”Part 2:Respond to one of your peer’s posts. (Please respond to work in the order it is posted, i.e., respond to the earliest posted exercise that has yet to receive a response.) Your response should be in the form of three “what if?” questions. Try to come up with three very different questions that may prompt the author to take the story in an unexpected direction. So we’re not offering commentary on the writing or the idea; we’re simply responding with three thought-provoking questions in order to spark new ideas.Sample “What if?” response questions:
What if the true risk is the son’s life?
What if your protagonist chooses to reveal his infidelity?
What if your protagonist is pregnant?
PurposeTo put your characters into immediate action (in medias res) and develop them through their own actions in a plot. This exercise will give you practice in shaping a significant moment in a character’s life, so that you can create a character-driven story. This is not necessarily meant to be the beginning of your longer short story (due in Module 5), but it may be, if you wish. This is just an exercise. If you like it enough to expand it into a story, great, but it’s not required.To respond to peers using ideas, rather than critique.As noted in Module 1, these exercise topics are run like a workshop in a “live” classroom; we’ll respond to as many as possible within the time period of the discussion Requirements: 1000 words in total   |   .doc file


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