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Exercise: Love/Hate at First Sight

These exercises were written by IWW members and administrators to provide structured practice opportunities for its members. You are welcome to use them for practice as well. Please mention that you found them at the Internet Writers Workshop(http://www.internetwritingworkshop.org/).

Prepared by: Alice Folkart
Posted on: 9 June 2012
Posted on: 22 June 2014
Posted on: 28 June 2015


In 400 words or less describe someone falling in love or hate at first sight with a person, place or thing.


An ideal situation to explore this idea would be a blind date, but donít confine yourself to thinking of infatuation only in terms of romance, itís a very broad experience. People fall in love at first sight with cars, houses, puppies, cities, all sorts of things. On the other hand, they can also take an instant and often irrational dislike to something.

Show us love at first sight with someone glimpsing what seems to be the long-awaited ideal mate or car or house; or someone finding exactly the right shoes or power drill in a shop window; or anyone falling hard for a cottage in the woods or a big, shiny motorcycle. The object of infatuation can be almost anything someone has never had and always wanted, especially anything that the character thinks would change his/her life if possessed.

Or, conversely, develop a character who instantly hates someone or something: takes an instant dislike to a seatmate on a long flight; bites into some unfamiliar food and has to resist spitting it out (or not); or comes out from under the bandages after cosmetic surgery and hates what he/she sees.

Show the emotional mechanism of first-sight infatuation. Show us how the character feels just before it happens, and then show us how he or she looks and acts upon discovering this object/person. Or let us see this characterís reaction through a third personís eyes. Show us whether the character is satisfied or disappointed when he gets or gets near the object of his infatuation?


In 400 words or less describe someone falling in love or hate at first sight with a person, place or thing.


When critiquing an authorís efforts, consider the effectiveness of the opening. Do we see the character reacting--stunned, delighted, frightened, overwhelmed by either desire or disgust when he or she espies the object? Would you read on to find out what happens? Donít forget to tell the writer about any grammatical or structural issues you may notice.

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