Posted in Exercises

Choosing a Name

Name the following characters, keeping in mind that you can plant, within a name, a clue to that character’s role in your fiction.

  1. a petty, white-collar thief who robs his boss over several years.
  2. an envious, bitter woman who makes her sister miserable by systematically trying to undercut her pleasure and self-confidence.
  3. a mage who lacks self confidence despite clearly having more ability then those of the highest ranks
  4. a sweet young man too shy to speak to an attractive woman he sees everyday at work
  5. the over weight orc that decides he needs to start hunting again to prove to his wife that he still has value
  6. the owner of a fast-food restaurant who comes on to his young female employees
  7. a unicorn that was no longer magical
  8. a resentful mother-in-law
  9. the transgender elf pilot that is ready to own a ship
  10. the dog owned by a pretentious couple
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Posted in Exercises

The Sort of Person…

Pick a character that you’d like to flesh out. Someone that needs some interesting details. Then complete this sentence 5-10 times or more:

He (or she) is the sort of person who __________________.

Example: He is the sort of person who boasts of wearing human molar for cuff links.

After completing the sentence, consider if the detail it offers is interesting and if it adds depth to the character.

Posted in Exercises

Objects Have History

Choose an object on your person. Write a short (100 words) description of it. Write this description to someone who can’t see it. Be specific and detailed. Next, connect the object to yourself by writing a short history of the object. Attach emotion to the object.

Posted in Exercises

People from the Past

First, think about your childhood between the ages of 6 and 12. Try to recall someone whose memory, even now, has the power to invoke strong, often negative feelings in you. Was that person the class bully, the clown, the daredevil, the town snob, the neighborhood bore, etc.? Write down details of what you remember about this person, how she looked and talked. Did you ever have any encounters with this Continue reading “People from the Past”

Heart on the Page

Write about an early childhood even that made you cry or terrified you, or that made you weak with shame to triumphant with revenge. Take us back to those traumatic times, relive them for us through your story in such a way so as to make your experience ours.

Posted in Exercises

Fiction Stew

Here’s a list of words: pyromaniac, skycap, all-night diner, tuna fish, bowling pin, gardenia, polyester, infinity

And here’s another: police officer, your father, the gazebo, a little garden, jeans, e-mail, yellowed, love

Begin a story. Use all the words in the list with in the first 1000 words of your story.

Posted in Exercises

Person, Place and Song

Write a short piece of fiction – about a thousand words. It may be a complete short story and it may be the beginning of a longer piece. But it starts as follows:

The first time [I or name] heard [specific song title] by [specific artist or group], [I or name] was at [place] and [I, we, name] was doing [action].