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 Writing Exercises!

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High_Inquisitor

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PostSubject: Writing Exercises!   Sun Dec 26, 2010 5:36 pm

So, for Christmas I received a few writing books (one on writing fiction and full of exercises, the other written by Orson Scott Card about writing Speculative Fiction) and have been reading through them almost incessantly. I was wondering if we'd be interested in me posting some exercises from the former book (because the latter, unfortunately, really doesn't have a lot of exercises, but more conceptual and idea-based). This would, unfortunately, involve us trying to write a bit from each one (because there are 200 or so!), but I'm sure that I could modify a bunch of them to make them more geared towards fantasy/sci-fi/horror.

So, whaddya say!?
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Rhapsode
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PostSubject: Re: Writing Exercises!   Mon Dec 27, 2010 12:46 pm

Go for it! God only knows that when January rolls around I'll need all the prompts I can get to reach that lofty word count height we've given ourselves.
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High_Inquisitor

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PostSubject: Re: Writing Exercises!   Mon Dec 27, 2010 1:14 pm

Hell, even if you don't use them, you can still say that they count towards your word goal! It'll be fine!

And I've got to read through a bunch of them and figure out what I'd be able to switch to SpecFic and which ones I can't...I mean, it'd be good to work on ones that AREN'T in SpecFic, just to keep us loose, but they'd probably not be useful to us in our stories...whatever.

First one's going up soon!
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PostSubject: Re: Writing Exercises!   Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:47 am

Awesome! It's time to get the first one underway! (Note that these are for general fiction writing, so they might not always apply to the stuff that we may read...so yeah. Have fun anyway!)

***NOTE: The following exercise is taken from Josip Novakovich's Writing Fiction Step by Step: An award-winning author leads you through more than 200 exercises enabling you to complete a story or novel. I am not taking credit for any of the following prompts, nor am I planning on publishing these prompts for monetary gain. If I've missed anything else and/or you find a loophole, please let me know so I can add it to this note and NEVER HAVE TO TYPE IT AGAIN!!!***

Chapter 1: Ideas for Fiction
Exercise 6

The media today is full of information about experiments in cloning. Imagine that cloning human beings is possible and that your clone is in much better shape than you are--doesn't have a bad knee, is more muscular, is a perfect version of you. Do your version of "the double" theme. Outline what could happen in a story in which you meet your clone.

Purpose: To create your double and place him in a story with yourself. The "double" is a common classical in which the basic story idea is already given, but treat it as something fresh. Psychologically, this is a stimulating theme--we all have in us doubles that embody our better or worse aspects that what we portray in our daily lives. Why not examine yourself in competition with your saintly or demonic side? The benefit of doing this exercise is that you will create a character with psychological depth, someone at odds with himself, in an essential conflict. In fiction, external conflicts are hollow if there is no character to internalize them. A divided self generally lends itself to action. Here we can take the divided self literally.

Tip: Let the two characters compete for wealth or glory or love. If the outline of events does not excite you, determine what setting the characters are in and plan an intense scene in which one of them is getting the honor and the other is jealous. Write from the first-person perspective of the jealous one. The jealous one need not be the less perfect one; perhaps it would be more interesting to observe from the viewpoint of the perfect but inexperienced clone.

***
And have at it!
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