Monday, February 23, 2009

Memoir Writing Exercise

This weekend, I attended the Loft Literary Center's brief course on the Five Parts of Story.

It was a useful refresher for basic story structure, and a nice way for a newbie like me to start meeting other aspiring writers.

Teaching artist and education director Brian Malloy gave us a brief, 4-paragraph writing exercise that I'll definitely use again. It offers practice in moving through cycles of scene-summary-scene, and would be a good exercise to get the creative juices flowing before starting in on a bigger project.

Here it is:

  • Paragraph 1: Write about a childhood memory as a vivid scene. Really emphasize sensory details.
  • Paragraph 2: Begin with the words, "For the next ten years...."
  • Paragraph 3: Begin with a line of dialogue (to move back into an active scene)
  • Paragraph 4: Begin with the words, "After that" or "In the following weeks"


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