Writing Essay

1. Write two very short versions of (or single scenes in) the hypothetical story sketched out below. Explore both of them; about 1 page each.

Compare how the two are different and think about why you like one better than the other. What about the writing choices you made makes one a more compelling story? (2 pages)

-Focus on the father. Develop him as a husband who over the years has taken his wife for granted but discovers to his chagrin that she handles a crisis like this better than he. He loses his temper, but his rage, the story suggests, is less directed against the car than it is against her for being so competent.

-Focus on the son by satirizing a totally incompetent father and a domineering mother. The son understandably leaves the family and hitchhikes back on his own. He makes it home late that night but only after being mugged. Broke and humiliated he expects punishment, but instead is greeted with tears of concern. Astonished, he realizes his parents aren’t quite as awful as he used to think.

2. Describe a place you would like to live. (3 pages)

3. Write five mini-stories (100-200 words each) to account for a single event or set of circumstances, such as a man and woman standing on a city sidewalk, hailing a cab. Each story should be different–in characters, plot, theme, perhaps even style and language–from the others.

4. Check out the documentary movie Forks Over Knives. Write a report that explains what the movie was about and what you learned from the movie, and then provide at least one paragraph explaining your opinion of the film. The minimum length is 500 words (about five thick paragraphs).

5. (Create a story.) 3 pages.

Re-read the draft of your first story. Have your main character “write” the following exercises–as if she/he had her own notebook.

Taking on the voice of your main character (even if your story is narrated in 3rd person, use 1st person [“I”] for this practice), explore the following. You don’t have to do them all, just pick those that most interest you and seem to provide most potential for opening up your story.

* Make a diary entry by your protagonist for the time of the story.

* Make a diary entry for the time preceding the story’s events.

* Make a diary entry describing the events that happen after the story has ended. (this may reveal to you that the story isn’t really finished yet–?)

* Write a letter to someone in the story.

* Write a letter to someone not in the story about what is happening in the story.

About 2 pages double-spaced.

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