Monday, January 2, 2017

A Writing Challenge

Yes, I'm taking a break from phonics and linguistics for the time being.  And yes, I can nearly hear the sigh of relief.

A couple of weeks ago, I attended the annual holiday party for the Fiction Writing Group for the Writers' Center.

While discussing plot, one lovely lady, Lola, confessed that she has a difficult time with plot.  I challenged her to write a brief, 5-page argument.  Put a two people at dinner or somewhere and evolve the dialog into a yelling argument.

This is not a unique exercise, of course, and I commend Lola for recognizing her weaknesses in her writing.

While at a workshop several years ago, my teacher challenged us to write a short story in a form or genre we had never worked.

I chose romance.

Long story short, I thought I knew the stereotypical formula for romances.  Really, I have a good idea for how paperback romances work, but I didn't want to do that.  I wanted something more thoughtful, more layered and more character-driven, and possibly something more founded in literature.

Well, this isn't such a short story: I thought I knew what I was getting into, but I made it more difficult and more involved, as I am prone to do.

And the process was lovely, trying to write something that I may never write again.

Try it: write something you haven't done.  Put your characters in a situation you haven't written.

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