A Fiction Writer's Group : Forum : Writing Exercises and Prompts


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Writing Exercises and Prompts

8 Years Ago


Hey Guys,

Would you be interested in having a writing prompt and we each create a story from it and share it and critique it?

I was thinking to start off we could start off giving ourselves a month to write it to give time to anything else anyone is working on. 

Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions or anything else let me know! 
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Re: Writing Exercises and Prompts

8 Years Ago


 I'm trying to get my writing gears working again so that would be helpful for me. I looked up some ideas. Here are some I found interesting, if you need any help thinking of one.

Write a story with two major threads, each with two characters. For example, the first could be a man and a woman driving in a car–where are they going? what happens along the way? what are they discussing? The second thread could be about two boys in a canoe–do they get along? what is the relationship between them? what happens to cause tension between them? Switch back and forth between each thread, spinning each of the stories. Find a way to slowly weave the stories together: Do the two sets of characters cross paths? Are they somehow related? Is one story something that happened in the past of a character from the other story?

Write a story composed entirely of letters from one character to another who never replies. The characters could know each other or could be complete strangers. For an example, read Claire Vaye Watkins's story "The Last Thing We Need" in her collection Battleborn (Riverhead Books, 2012).

In his essay “Don’t Look Back” (Poets & Writers Magazine, November/December 2012), fiction writer Benjamin Percy argues against including backstory when writing short stories. “It’s almost always unnecessary," Percy writes. "A reader intuits the history of a character by observing that character act in the present.”  Choose a story you’ve written and delete all of the backstory that you’ve included. Then revise it by describing the main character and having that description convey the backstory instead.
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Re: Writing Exercises and Prompts

8 Years Ago


I like the interchanging story idea. I like the two people in the car and the boys in the canoe. I am going to work on that this week and post it on Friday
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Re: Writing Exercises and Prompts

8 Years Ago


Great! Okay, I'll try to work on something similar. I may or may not use the two people in the car and the people in the canoe, but I'll do something with two interweaving stories. Can't wait to hear how yours turns out.
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Re: Writing Exercises and Prompts

8 Years Ago


If you mean to post by January 26th, then I am in. This is a good exercise. "Talk" to you all Friday.