Tuesday, May 5, 2015

In-Class Exercises from "Get Uncomfortable"

In-class exercises and a reading list from my current writing class, "Get Uncomfortable." You can do these at home. The idea is to think about the ways in which good fiction, and nonfiction, can spring from encounters with the world outside our familiar zones of comfort.

Take two minutes to answer each of these:

-What do you sometimes think you might write more about if it didn't make you uncomfortable?

-Is there a story you have been wanting to write but you feel like you can't for any reason? (Doesn't have to be identified as “discomfort.”) What is that reason?

-Have you ever been in a situation where you feel you failed to do the right thing? Was there a right thing to do? 

Think about a story you're working on right now, or would like to be. Think about the main character. If your piece is nonfiction, the main character is probably you. Or if the piece centers on one specific person, it could be that person.

If you like, you can run through these questions again with secondary characters.

Spend one minute on each:

-What is s/he ashamed of?
-Does s/he lie to herself or himself?
-Does s/he cause harm to another, or fail to prevent it? How?
-Does s/he live in a bubble? What's inside the bubble? 
-What's outside it?
-What are the advantages of staying inside the bubble?
-What are the dangers of stepping outside it?
-What are your character's strengths?

Spend two minutes on this:

-Are you going to push your character outside the bubble? How?

And in case you haven't seen it it, here's  the reading list for the class.

Konstantin Somov, Landscape with a Wicket, 1893

No comments:

Post a Comment