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04 May

TRACKING SHOTS

This week, I want you to try a writing technique I’m going to call a “tracking shot.”  A tracking shot is actually a term from film, where a camera moves on a dolly.  It’s a great way of establishing setting, especially in a place with a lot of different things going on in different places.  […]

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25 Jan

INTERIORITY

Each person sees the world in a different way, and so does each character.  Point of view doesn’t just mean first-person or third-person, it’s the his unique, perspective of the protagonist, the strange blend of what he or she sees, hears, feels, smells, tastes, remembers, dreams about, worries about, wants, wonders, fears, or, to put […]

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02 Jun

FILL IT UP WITH YOURSELF

This week, in class, I asked you to: 1) Identify the emotion the protagonist was feeling in your story’s next scene. 2) Write about a real moment from your own life when you felt that same emotion. 3) Write your story’s next scene using some of the your own real feelings, thoughts, visceral details from […]

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24 Feb

SETTING

Many young writers find writing setting a bit of a chore; they would rather get on with their story instead of describing the wallpaper.  However, setting can and should be much more than an inventory of your protagonist’s bedroom.  Setting is one of the primary ways a writer establishes a story’s mood, that is the […]

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11 Jan

A VIVID AND CONTINUOUS DREAM"

In his book, On Becoming a Novelist, John Gardner says that the goal of the writer is to create a “vivid and continuos dream.”  You’ve probably experienced that state as a reader where you are completely absorbed in the world and the story.  How do you create that feeling in your own writing? The answer lies in […]

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30 Oct

SIGNIFICANT OBJECTS

In most stories, there is a particular object that takes on a lot of meaning or significance.  For instance, think of the golden ticket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the ruby slippers in The Wizard of Oz, or the sneakers in Holes. Your task this week is to write the next scene in your […]

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