Thursday, September 18, 2014

Nine Exercises #3: An Ending, and a Letter

Welcome to the third installment of Nine Exercises to Help You Draft a New Story.

Exercise #3: An Ending, and a Letter

Time: 15 minutes 

If you've done the first two exercises, you have a character, and your character has a problem.

If you haven't, think of a character and a problem now. (Or get them here and here.)

1. Set your timer for nine minutes.

Brainstorm three ways your story might end. You can start by asking yourself whether the character overcomes the problem or not, and go from there.

2. Now set the timer for six minutes.

Write a letter to your character. Be honest. If you hate him because he's too difficult and weird to write about, say that. If you long to go on a picnic with her, write that. If you're afraid your character is too much like you, too different, too stupid, too accomplished; if your character already feels strangely alive, or like an old friend, say that. The only requirement is absolute honesty.

 Next: A Plot

illustration by Seiichi Hayashi from Gold Pollen, 1971 via 50watts

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