Exercises based on the first week of our fiction workshop 2011.
This week select two ways to get fiction writing ideas from the suggestions by James Scott Bell in the final reading section. Set aside 30 - 45 minutes to begin a story based on two ways you've learned to come up with writing ideas If you've selected a good topic for you personally, you will discover time flies when you're really involved in creating a unique set of people, places, and events. Remember: conflict gets the reader into your narrative.
I suggest you DON'T try to write both stories in one sitting. Taking two days to write on two different stories gives your brain down time to recover from your first heavy duty writing labor, and to be ready to begin and go through creating a different story from a different idea generator, Taking two days for writing two stories will help keep you from buring out before you peak.
After you have spent 30 - 45 minutes on each of your two stories, you need to pick one to work on further.
Actually, I'm guessing it will take 30 - 45 minutes, based on the way I write. Write as long as it takes you get get your story underway, have several characters reacting, and set up a conflict or two. Fast composers may be able to complete this much of a story in 15 - 20 minutes--but remember you want to include lots of details. People remember details describing the senses they experience: smell, taste, sound, touch/feel, and sight. Get some good descriptive sections in your stories.
Then, the next day (we're on day three now) read over both of your stories and decide which one you want to work on a bit more. Drafts always look different, and read differently a day or more after you've finished writing it. Now, what changes and revisions do you see that you need to make? Anything read confusing that you could improve? Can you add a "hook", "line", and "sinker" to create a flowing plot?
When you have written and edited your favorite of these two ibeginnings of stories (you probably want to create a static item for each story, meaning you'll have two static items). Note which story is the one you edited, and spent more time on. I would like to read both of your stories before our lesson next Wednesday. I know this exercise is a time taker, but you'll find you get out of writing at least as much as you put into it. Wrestle with your drafts.
Please send a "bitem" link in an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you wrote two stories, and you like them both, send both, but do edit one before you send it to me. At least tryu to catch the typos (WDC does have a spell check if you compose online instead of composing on a Word Program.) You can send all three (or four) links for me to read your exercises in one e-mail, or several e-mails over several days. I'll get back to you with feedback before next Wednesday.
Write on! Ask me if you have any questions or problems.
Thanks for participating,