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The Weekly Assignment Overview shows assignments, prompts and checklists
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Weekly Assignment Overview



Beginning,Orientation and class begins - 1 August 2019 
Lesson 1  -   Practice and Warmup...Favorite Author Chapter Template and Three Part Character Development Model.. rewriting Pandora from Kindred's POV. - 8 August.
Lesson 2  -  Central character, world of the story, including want, need, or desire - 15 August.
Lesson 3  -  Supporting character and fast moving developments. 22 August.
Lesson 4  -   A Life Changing Event. 29 August.
Lesson 5  -  Crisis #1 (Internal - the smallest) Our own worst enemy- 5 September,
Lesson 6  -  Crisis #2 (External - the intermediate) -12 September.
Lesson 7  -  Crisis #3 (The final crisis.  The climax. The big blow-out) - 19 September.
Lesson 8  -  The Outline - 26 September.


Overview of Assignments for the Exploratory Writing Workshop


As you progress through our course, keep in mind that your initial thoughts and ideas might begin to change in unexpected ways.  You have these impulses when you start writing but often as you get into it they have little to do with where the direction the story is actually going.  You keep uncovering new things.

Assignment 1  -  Favorite Author Chapter Template and Three Part Character Developmental Model.  Lesson 1 is warmup and practice designed to get your head into the workshop.  It has two parts.

Part 1:  Create a template of a chapter from one of your favorite novels—one that is generally written in a way that you want your novel to sound. Include all of the writing components of a good chapter that you find in your chapter.  A partial list of writing components to look for is below.

                   Components 

*BulletO*  Backstory
*BulletO*  Character Development
*BulletO*  Scene Setting
*BulletO*  Exposition that moves the story
*BulletO*  Dialogue that moves the story forward
*BulletO*  Foreshadowing
*BulletO*  Symbolism
*BulletO*  Flashbacks
*BulletO*  Internal Dialogue
*BulletO*  Subtext


Part 2:  Take the Three Part Character Development Model and read the three vignettes written from Pandora's POV.  Then write them from Kindred's POV.  Try and make this more than a plug and paste exercise...Show Kindred in a world experiencing and doing things like Pandora did.  It's OK to copy and paste Pandora's vignettes, as a guideline, but Kindred needs to be brought to life as a unique, distinct and believable character.

Assignment 2  -  Central Character and World of the story, including want, need, or desire

Write a 1-3K vignette following the prompt below.

                   Prompt 

Now that you're familiar with how the Three Part Character Development Model works, you're on your own to choose the genre you want to write your novel in.  The model works for all.  In a world you're familiar with and passionate about, introduce a Central Character (CC). Present him/her in a somewhat benign setting, a world that existed just prior to the Life Changing Event (LCE). Give the reader a look at the Story World and how the CC fits into it.  This is where you write a Before Snapshot for your reader, which will become a reference for comparison as the novel progresses. This snapshot shows the CC's physicality and a peek inside as to what makes them tick.  This is also a good place to show the CC's  underlying problem if one exits, and particularly the CC's Wants, Need, and/or Desires (WNDs).

                   Checklist 

*BulletO*  Is there one central pivotal character, clearly evident?
*BulletO*  Does your vignette show an understanding of how the 3 Step Character Model works?
*BulletO*  Is this vignette analogous  to "Placid Waters" in the example?
*BulletO*  Does the Story begin in a genre you are familiar with and passionate about?
*BulletO*  Does the vignette foreshadow an LCE looming close at hand?
*BulletO*  Does the reader see how the CC is operating in of the Story World?
*BulletO*  Do you show both physicality and depth in your Before Snapshot of CC.?
*BulletO*  Do you show an underlying problem with the CC, if one exists?
*BulletO*  Do you show the CC's Wants, Needs and Desires?


Assignment 3  -  Supporting Character and a Life Changing Event

                   Prompt 

Write a 1-3 K vignette that shares the same CC and back-story as lesson two.  Show the CC swept into a new and unexpected situation, a change happening, an uptempo surging, that propels the CC out of their daily routine of expectations and into a current of unfamiliar events.  No longer is the CC in control of the situation and is instead being driven towards the precipice of a Life Changing Event (LCE).  Show some change from the initial snapshot, some additional depth of character.  Show how your CC responds, her Modus Operandi, and/or the way she operates under stress.  Remember this is about character...don't let the primary focus become plot.  Some plot is inevitable but this is the time to demonstrate more character as your CC copes with a fast moving and unfamiliar change in circumstances.

                   Checklist 

*BulletO*  Is this vignette analogous to "Caught in the Current" as shown in the example?
*BulletO*  Have you presented an uptempo surge of events?
*BulletO*  Do these events propel your CC out of the comfort zone of their life?
*BulletO*  Does the CC experience a loss of control and a need to cope with a dynamic situation?
*BulletO*  Does the reader see an LCE beginning to develop?
*BulletO*  Is the writer's focus on more on character than plot?
*BulletO*  Does the reader get a better understanding of the CC seeing him/her under pressure?
*BulletO*  Is the reader caught up in the action?


Assignment 4  -  A Life Changing Event, and the  a Dramatic Premise

                   Prompt

Write a 1-3K word vignette.  This one is analogous to "Over the Falls," shown in the example.  Here is a good place to think about a Dramatic Premise.  This is a turning point in the CC's Life.  It needs to be evidenced enough so the audience/reader can pick up on and relate to it. Develop your characters more.  Give the reader a sense now of how the CC is dealing with the change wrought by the new set of circumstances. Again this is an opportunity to show more character through the interaction with a supporting character.  Show the CCs thoughts through interior dialog.  Begin to set up an impending crises that looms ahead and where the overall story is going.

                   Checklist

*BulletO*  Is this Vignette to analogous to "Over the Falls" in the example?
*BulletO*  Have you introduced at least one supporting character by this point?
*BulletO*  Have you come up with a thematic undercurrent or Dramatic Premise?
*BulletO*  Is this a turning point in theCC's life?
*BulletO*  Do you show the CC sorting out the implications?
*BulletO*  Are you showing more Character development?
*BulletO*   Are you showing your CC's thoughts through interior dialogue?
*BulletO*  Do you foreshadow looming crisis?
*BulletO*  Are you showing new aspects of your CC through interaction with a supporting character?


Assignment 5  -  Crisis 1 - The Internal Crisis (the smallest, occurs in Chapter 7) - Our Own Worst Enemy

                   Prompt

Write a 1-3K vignette that comes in Phase one (Chapter 7) of your novel.  This is the point where the CC sees the obstacles posed by a crisis they face.  Show them beginning to doubt or question earlier decisions.  Show the CC responsible, in part for the crisis that looms.  Show their character beginning to transform or change from who they were to what they are becoming.  Introduce the first and smallest of the crises.  Show how the CC intends to deal with the hurdles ahead, questioning earlier decisions, and their state of mind going into the struggle.

                   Checklist

*BulletO*  Do you show the obstacles the CC is facing?
*BulletO*  Does this vignette come at a point where the CC sees the obstacles they face?
*BulletO*  Do you show doubt regarding earlier decisions?
*BulletO*  Do you show how the CC's actions contribute to or spark a crisis.
*BulletO*  Do you show changes from the initial Snapshot in Vignette 1?
*BulletO*  Is this the smallest of the three crises?
*BulletO*  Have you shown a preliminary assessment of how the CC intends to respond.
*BulletO*  Does the CC begin to question their earlier decisions?
*BulletO*  Does the vignette show the CC's state of mind on the eve of the struggle?


Assignment 6  -  Crisis 2 - External  The Intermediate Crisis, occurs in Chapter 17

                   Prompt

Write a 1-3K vignette that comes in Phase 2 (Chapter 17) of your novel that shows the hurdle(s) faced by the CC as they encounter an intermediate external obstacle.  This road block rears up and challenges his/her growing resolve to effect change. The CC resolves to reconcile a dilemma between an old self and one being sought.  He/She is frustrated and wants to do the right thing, a person in transition but not there yet . . . Show the struggle to become who they really want to be. 

                   Checklist

*BulletO*  Is this an intermediate crisis on the dramatic intensity curve?
*BulletO*  Is it an external roadblock as opposed to a self imposed roadblock?
*BulletO*  Does it challenge the character's resolve and impede the struggle?
*BulletO*  How is the need for change finding expression?
*BulletO*  How is the frustration being expressed and dealt with?
*BulletO*  Show a character in transition but not there yet.
*BulletO*  How is this resolved to effect change evidenced?


Assignment 7  -  Crisis 3 - The Climax , occurs in Chapter 27

                   Prompt

Write a 1-3K vignette that comes in Phase 3 (Chapter 27) of your novel at a point where the CC sees clearly the obstacles presented in the climax.  Show the CC game planning how to deal with it.  Show the state of mind of the CC going into the conflict.  Show the Climax brewing and coming to a head. Show change in the CC from the Before Snapshot.  Show the opposing forces as formidable and an antagonist.
                   Checklist

*BulletO*  Is this Vignette set in Phase 3 at a point where the CC sees fully the obstacles they face?
*BulletO*  Do you show the the CC's making plans to deal with it?
*BulletO*  Do you show the CC's state of mind?
*BulletO*  Is the Climax brewing and coming to a head?
*BulletO*  Have you shown changes in character from the Before Snapshot?
*BulletO*  Is the opposition a formidable challenge.
*BulletO*  Is there an antagonist?


Assignment 8  -  The Outline

At this point we have six (6) vignettes that should contain the thread of the story line and some good development of the Central Character and Supporting Characters.  This is where we get the heart and mind of the student writer focused.  At this point the student needs to write the thread of the story in outline form.

This will expand to include the dramatic ingredients, character sketches of the CC and supporting characters, and a synopsis of the six vignettes that are to be woven into the outline. There will be parts that will be deleted as the vignettes are integrated into the outline.  This assignment will complete the workshop.



Percy Goodfellow - Workshop Instructor
percy goodfellow


*CheckB*   Links to The Exploratory Writing Workshop   *CheckB*

Welcome Letter - "Exploratory Writing Workshop Welcome
Introduction - "Intro - Exploratory Writing Workshop
Assignment Overview - "The Weekly Assignment Overview Page
Assignment Forum - "Classroom (Assignment Forum) of EWW
Dictionary of Writing Terms "Dictionary of Terms
© Copyright 2011 percy goodfellow (trebor at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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