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IWW Practice-W Exercise Archives
Exercise: Life Throws a Curve


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: Charles Hightower
Posted on: September 14, 2008
Posted on: September 26, 2010
Posted on: April 15, 2012
Posted on: June 9, 2013
Posted on: June 7, 2015

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Exercise: In 400 words or less, let a character or characters fail in an attempt to produce a desired outcome, and show how they react in the aftermath.

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Life often throws us a curve.  When something unforeseen and disappointing does occur, some people are overwhelmed and are swept away by events.  Others might flail away in a manner that does little to better their predicament, while still others might discover an alternative solution that allows them to take charge.

For this exercise, give your readers a brief grounding in what was attempted.  Then show how your character(s) react when events go awry.

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Exercise: In 400 words or less, let a character or characters fail in an attempt to produce a desired outcome, and show how they react in the aftermath.

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In your critiques, note how well the writer has constructed the setting and shown us authentic characters acting in believable ways. What do we learn of the characters from their reactions to the failure? Would you like to read more of the story? And, as usual, pay attention to all the technical concerns that go into good writing.


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Modified by Gayle Surrette.