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IWW Practice-W Exercise Archives
Exercise: Demons Within (v. 2)

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.internetwritingwor kshop.org/).

Prepared by: Loretta Russell and Ruth Douillette
Posted on: Sunday, December 30, 2007
Reposted, revised, on Sunday, January 11, 2009
Reposted on Sunday, January 15, 2012
Resposted on Sunday, March 23, 2014

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Exercise: In 400 words or less show us a character who slides from success or
normality into self-destruction. The story can be fiction or non-fiction.

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A prominent banker, a pillar of the community earning $500,000 a year, hanged
himself after being accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl; there was DNA
evidence.

With headlines like this appearing in new papers, there are, unfortunately, many
examples of people who appear to be successful, but who, for reasons not always
easily apparent, act in ways that send them on a downward spiral. It happens to the
"common man" (or woman) as well as the "superstar."

Consider the influences that lead a person to self-destruct? Is it a quest for power, a
mental illness, a character flaw, or something within society itself? Why does it
happen to some, but not others? Is such behavior an affliction primarily of the rich
and famous, or is it an equal opportunity problem?

Consider these questions as you develop a character on the path to self-destruction.

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Exercise: In 400 words or less show us a character who slides from success or
normality into self-destruction. The story can be fiction or non-fiction.

-------------------------

Critique: Is the character believable? Was the descent understandable?
Is the character sympathetic? Why, or why not? Do the reasons for the downfall ring
true?




Web site created by Rhéal Nadeau and the administrators of the Internet Writing Workshop.
Modified by Gayle Surrette.