Plot & Structure Exercise 8.1: the What-If game

In chapter three of his plot book, Mr Bell suggests ways for coming up with hundreds of ideas. Ok, we wonder, why? Remember how one tip to writing subsequent scenes was to imagine multiple scenarios? We tend to write A, B, C, D . . . but Mr Bell suggested, […]

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snow impatient

Snow Impatient

There’s nothing I hate more than wasting time, except talking about it. Yet I knew there was a pointless fight to be had as soon as I got home from the office. So I took the highway, hoping to speed down the left lane, get to my wife quicker than […]

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“Aglet”: or stories of vocab

The guitar player strums or picks. The turtle does not scuttle or bumble. The sink drips, while the sirens . . . the sirens . . . holler? Hoot? Sound off?! What describes the sound a siren makes? It’s important to have the right vocabulary, especially when communicating important things […]

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love terrestrial

Trailer — Instructions — Newsletter

Ice cream. Outer space. Reflex. Lombok, Indonesia. LCD Soundsystem. Bullseye. Zeker. Mosque. Date. По-русски. Brighton Beach. Vial. Malachite. Autobiography. Vanidades. Superman. Zelda. Sk8ter boi. Summer. Twentysomething. Yawp. Kebab. Kiss. Two-hundred hungry loud Texans. Moons. Gray-whiskered and rough. Argos. Estrangement. Imperceptible smile. Low gravity. Cigarette. Astronomy. Burnt-orange bag. Black Hercules. Queso. Parallax […]

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Write a monologue that feels rhythmically right

(Art by Cosimo Miorelli, for Bloomsday 2015)   Ok, so, this is the third and final Charles Johnson exercise (I must confess, the last three exercises have all been from page 37 of The Way of the Writer, which I finished yesterday).   (3) Write a monologue of at least […]

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Avoid Editing while you Write, and Writing while you Edit

There are as many methods of producing great literature as there are pens. Nevertheless, one way of sabotaging our output as writers is to criticize before we’ve concluded our daily production of words. When you are writing, write. When you are editing, edit. Both are as essential to great work […]

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Write to reflect on action

Writer of many home-study courses for Time-Life Educational systems, Ron Bradley, was the English learning trainer who helped certify me to teach others. He has this to say about reflection:   “[Use] reflective practice to improve your teaching and professional growth: ‘If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll […]

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Write a Story in Five…sentences, snapshots, parts

Our Writing & Publishing Lab course, lead by Luis Jaramillo and John Reed at The New School, began with one simple exercise: “Write a story in five snapshots.” To do this, we followed what’s called the “Five-part story structure”: (A) First you write Action. (B) Second you write Background. (D) […]

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