Here’s a writing exercise you guys might dig,
especially if you’re doing the short story gig.
And that is my final Poetry Month blowout.
I like Steve’s title better. Didn’t we have a paradigm shift away from using cliched words like paradigm?
It’s kind of formulaic, but learning the forms heightens our excitement when we roguishly break form. You can’t be a rule breaker if you don’t know the rules.
Learn ’em, then spurn ’em.
It is a great way to begin a new story or a new chapter, either from your established main character’s point of view or from a different character’s point of view.
Or a sweet piece of flash.
Here are the steps:
- “A scene follows an active character through emotionally charged experiences which change him or her.”
- Put things you like in the scene. Puppies, margaritas, a pair of Manolo Blahniks.
- Put things you fear in the scene. Nuclear war, disease, clowns.
- Name a character,
- And put him somewhere. He’s doing something. What? When? How?
- Set the tone. Details– sights, sounds, smells– establish the mood, add to the feel of the setting.
- Cue 2nd character; create a situation.
- Have character 2 say something “to emotionally charge the situation.”
- Character 1 responds. The situation escalates.
- Surprise the reader with a rich detail that develops your character and suggests his mental state.
- Add emphasis with drama, emotion, action, reaction.
- The scene intensifies further, possibly via action or statement from character 2.
- Up the ante again and/or bring the scene to some kind of resolution. A cliffhanger, perhaps?