Writing Exercises

March 17, 2018

PAPER PEOPLE: HOW WRITERS (AND READERS) CREATE CHARACTERS

Jennifer Hodgson

“The students I teach, although very able literary critics, sometimes need reminding that the characters in the books that they are interpreting are not, in fact, real people.  It’s very easily do...

December 2, 2017

WRITING, WATER, & EXPRESSIVENESS

(from Reclaiming the Wild Soul : How Earth’s Landscapes Restore Us to Wholeness by Mary Reynolds Thompson - Part 3)

Seventy percent of the planet is water.  Seventy percent of your body is water.  We evolved from an ancient sea of amnioti...

December 2, 2017

"Following Golden Threads" from Ensouling Language, Stephen Buhner

The term golden thread was coined by William Blake (though he called it a golden string) but developed as a theme in writing by the poet William Stafford…To the alert person, a golden thread may emerge...

August 13, 2017

THE WRITER'S WORKSHOP

                "Writing Alone & with Others", Pat Schneider

HANDOUT:  “We write together—leader as well as participants—in response to a suggestion [exercise, prompt] given by the leader.  The leader’s participati...

June 5, 2017

Handout from Spring 2017 Writing Workshop

WRITING BOOT CAMP

from a lecture by Robert Olen Butler 

In the nearly two decades I’ve been teaching this subject, I have read many thousands of manuscripts from aspiring writers, and virtually all of them—virtually all of them—fa...

May 20, 2017

INSPIRATION: THE BREATH AND THE WORD - (handout)

(taken from Writing from the Body by John Lee pp 21-38)

The Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca once explained that all true art must be produced out of the “energetic instinct” that Spaniards refer to as the duende, “the m...

April 30, 2017

SENSE OF SMELL IN WRITING

(handout from April 13, 2017 workshop)

"Given the power of smell, you'd think authors would cram their work with scents, but we don't.  Open any literary journal and compare the instances of visual imagery with the number of references to smell....

February 19, 2017

Opening Lines (link to handout from workshop)  


Exercise:   

Part 1:  Write down 4-6 opening lines.  Don't overthink it; just write what comes to your mind. After you have done this, pick one of the lines that you think you could write about, and write it on a smal...

February 19, 2017

"Sound in Writing"- (link to handout from workshop)  

Exercise:

Think about a particular sound from your childhood; something that means a lot to you, either negatively or positively.  Use that as your starting point for writing.  Describe the sound.  Try to bring your r...

December 2, 2016

 BREAKING INTO FICTION (modified from an exercise by Pat Schneider):

Part 1 -  Write a short, autobiographical, first-person narrative.  This can be any situation, experience, conversation or event that comes to mind.  Tell the reader about it as you would a friend.  We...

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2016 by Julie Mariouw