Prepared by: Rhéal Nadeau
Posted on: November 15, 2003
By the way, this week marks a milestone
for Practice-W - this is the
exercise (or exercise variant) to be posted on this list.
In the past week, we have been remembering
something from our past,
our feelings and emotions at the time, and looking at how those might
changed us or changed our choices and decisions later on. (You can see
week's exercise at:
Of course, the goal of the Remembering
exercises is not just to talk
past, but to explore those emotions so we can better use them in our
Just as emotions affect us, and influence (or at times even control)
so do emotions affect our characters - all of them, from the
antagonist down to the most minor characters (though we may not show
emotions, we do need to make sure that all characters have their own
for their actions.) This is true not only in fiction, but in
well - often it is useful to wonder what experiences or emotions drive
actions of the people we might write about (from George W. Bush waging
Iraq to the sweet old lady who feeds the pigeons in the park.) What
who they are, what causes them to make the choices they make?
So this week, take the emotion (or set of
emotions) you explored
last week, and
use it in a fictional scene. Show how that emotion (or a mix of
determine or at least influence the character's actions. In a classic
fear might lead someone to run away - or else, might inspire an act of
Someone who has suffered loss might be afraid of new relationships, or
(If you didn't do the exercise last week,
or if you want to use a
emotion than the one you wrote about, then do last week's Remembering
now - just for yourself. Don't submit it, but think of a moment in your
take the time to remember what that moment felt like, then use that in
this week's exercise.)
Remember to *show* the emotions - what it
actually feels like to the
- rather than just telling us. (In other words, don't use words like
"anger" or whatever, but *show* those emotions in action.) Use what you
explored in last week's (and any previous) remembering exercises -
the sensations, not on the names of the emotions. So don't say a
was angry, but instead show what that character is actually feeling.
Don't use the actual scene you used last
week; use the *emotions"
experienced at the time in creating a different fictional scene. Last
requirement was to use a real incident from your life. This week, the
requirement is to create a fictional scene, with a fictional character,
use our own experiences as background.
Word count: 300 words.
Web site created by
Rhéal Nadeau and
the administrators of the Internet Writing Workshop.
Modified by Gayle Surrette.