Assignment 1: Working with POV

Purpose: Using a famous scene by Flaubert, change the POV (twice) to practice writing in different POV’s and to learn advantages, disadvantages, and restrictions each point of view presents.  Be aware:

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Assignment 5: Rewriting a famous story ending.


Using this famous and well-loved story ending as a template, with your own imagination, create a scene that provides different meaning for story, and still maintains interest and the suspense for the reader to read on. 

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Assignment 7: Rewriting sentences


The quality of sentences in fiction are crucial for conveying meaning, shaping character, providing momentum for the story, establishing voice not in dialogue, stimulating images, transferring ideas, providing rhythmic structure for reading ease and pleasure.

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Assignment 9: Practice making up literary stories


This assignment challenges you to make up a story.   About people.  Make it credible with no requirement for suspension of disbelief.  Some change must occur in one or more of the characters, either in thinking or feeling.

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Assignment 10: Creating Scenes – Settings

This is a dual exercise: create scenes in two different settings, one static, the other active.  A setting can be a source action of a scene, or the action can be set in a static scene where conflict is in dialogue, or thought, or metaphysical, and may contribute with contrasts suggested by the setting itself: irony, metaphor, back story, and exposition, to name only a few (example–a character contemplating suicide–the reader is influenced by the content and quality of the setting, which represents great potential for the good writer).

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Assignment 12: Write five scene outlines


If you, as a writer, don’t find the challenge of this assignment exciting, you will probably never create great fiction as an art form. The goal is to build great characters through in scene action.  If you succeed, after practicing and evaluating, your storytelling will take on new dimensions that will fascinate your readers, stimulate their memory, and stimulate their admiration for you with your ability to give them pleasure through a fictional story. That has a good chance to give you great pleasure you will probably never experience in any other way.

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Assignment 14: Imagery and Action in Dramatic Scenes with Dialogue


Dramatic fiction scenes have action.  When in-scene writing is the most effective for the story moment, dialogue and action are often used together.  Probably the most common action situations for writers for characters in a scene are eating, traveling as in a car or bus, or just meeting somewhere, situations which tend to be listless to inert.  Yet, to keep the reader oriented as to what’s happening, and to augment the dialogue, the action in the scene has to be presented so the reader’s imagination is holding onto the scene visually and recording progressive–be it minimal or robust– action, and experience the imagery and action in fresh, unique, and significant ways, to support the meaning and story.  Because in scenes where the dialogue is prominent and busy providing conflict, characterization, theme enhancement, etc., the supportative setting and the movement in the scene must be well written to contribute to a great story.  The task is variable from story to story, and success requires practice.

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Assignment 15: Creating Scenes: practice writing


The assignment is for practice creating scenes for stories.  A story in a series of interrelated scenes with beginning, middle, and some resolution that allows movement to the next scene.  Scenes are built with dialogue, narrative description, careful attention to perspective, imagery, momentum, structure, and story purpose.  These exercises are like learning scales before trying to play music.

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Assignment 16: Rewriting a famous story


In this assignment you will learn important principles in effective story design that makes story memorable and significant and therefore enjoyable.  How beginning, middle, and end principle brings momentum and energy to story.  How, for literary stories, character-based storytelling with dramatic plot changes are at least partially caused by character thoughts and action, and careful consideration of plot progression.

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Assignment 17: Creating settings


This essay will give you what you need as background to approach the assignment. Assignment instructions follow.

Creating Settings in Literary Fiction

As a fiction writer, an author orients the reader as to where and when the action takes place by creating a setting. Well-constructed purposeful settings also evoke image stimulation, establish mood, and can supplement characters’ motivations and feelings in the moment. Without doubt, creating great stories depends on author skill in establishing settings that are integral to story development and understanding.

In essence, with the start of every new scene (if not carried over from previous scenes), the author establishes where, when, who, what. Even in techniques such as stream of consciousness, or back-story reflection, readers need orientation.

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