Exercises

Writers block? Try these exercises aimed directly at writers to practice and improve your craft, organized by topic.

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Email us with your responses to the exercises and how they helped you improve your writing. You could be featured in a future blog entry! Be aware that your response might be edited for typo’s and gross syntactical errors–please proofread your work!

Beginnings

  1. Isolate the first 500 words of your piece, but be sure you have the ending/Point figured out. Take it slow, moving sentence by sentence, and and scrupulously apply all three questions to it. Are there clauses that are extra commentary, irrelevant to the story as a whole? What about the goal of the chapter? Be on the lookout for sentences that need a dose of adrenaline, making them convey action rather than mere summary. Have you played your hand too soon, and could you perhaps disclose the same information in small nuggets placed hither and yon? (Related Post)

Revision

  1. Think back to the last time you got what seemed like an “unwelcome” bit of advice. You know the one, that bit that made you bristle the most, that bit that seemed meanest, that bit that was clearly just plain wrong. (If you don’t have something come to mind, just ask someone to read your work. If they’re serious about reviewing, they’ll offer you something that falls into the above category.)

    So you’ve acquired/identified one such bit. Now, address it. It doesn’t matter how bogus you think it is–just work on it. Cater to their whims. You’re right, after all, so you can do this, prove your point, and move on to continue being awesome.

    Next, show the revised piece to someone else. What did they think? Were you vindicated? Or was your reader maybe, just maybe, right about their observation? (Related Post)

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