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IWW Practice-W Exercise Archives
Exercise: A Child is Born (Version 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.internetwritingworkshop.org/).

Prepared by: Carter Jefferson
Posted on: 18 February 2007
Reposted on:  11 May 2008
Revised and reposted on: 24 May 2009
Reposted on: 1 Aug 2010
Reposted on: 14 August 2011
Reposted on: 11 November 2012
Reposted on: 28 September 2014

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Exercise: In 400 words or less, write a scene in which a birth plays an important part, and show at least the beginnings of the changes this might cause.

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Birth can be an occasion for joy, something to celebrate with flowers and gifts, or it may be a disaster for everyone concerned. Sometimes it even comes as a surprise. It may take place in a hospital, an ordinary bedroom, or a cotton field. In any event, it causes change--in a happy family, in the life of a single mother, or in the hopes of succession for the children of a king.

For this exercise, you need not show your readers the actual birth, though you certainly may, but make sure the scene shows how the event is received and indicates something of the changes wrought.

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Exercise: In 400 words or less, write a scene in which a birth plays an important part, and show at least the beginnings of the changes this might cause.

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In your critiques, note how well the setting is constructed, and whether we have been shown authentic characters acting in believable ways. What do we learn of the characters from their reactions to the birth? What future actions does the scene foreshadow? 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.