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IWW Practice-W Exercise Archives
Exercise: Flights of Fancy (Version 3)

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: Florence Cardinal
Posted on: November 10, 2002
Reposted on: November 28, 2004
Reposted on: January 9, 2006
Reposted, revised, on: December 23, 2007
Reposted, revised, on: June 14, 2009
Reposted, revised, on: March 6, 2011
Reposted on: June 2, 2013
Reposted on: December 20, 2015
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Exercise: In 400 words or less, describe an everyday task you've done many times. Then stop and ask yourself, "What if?" Take your readers on an imaginary adventure.

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We all sometimes imagine how things could be different from reality. Writers can draw on these flights of fancy to mine new ideas and move through 'dry' periods in their writing. This is how many great stories are born.

Start with a mundane occurrence like washing the dishes, driving to work, or weeding your garden. Let your imagination take over so that the ordinary leads you into the extraordinary, into an adventure or a flight of fantasy.

Think, "What if?" What if I were washing dishes and looked up to see a stranger in weird clothing peering in my window? What if, while driving to work, I traveled through a bank of fog--into the year 3011? What if while I was weeding I started to hear conversations among the plants?

Begin your story with an ordinary task and let that lead into your adventure.

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Exercise: In 400 words or less, describe an everyday task you've done many times. Then stop and ask yourself, "What if?" Take your readers on an imaginary adventure.

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Critique by commenting on how well the writer takes off on a flight of fantasy from a routine task. Is the logic fantastic? Does he or she makes us believe that what is happening is possible? Is the narrator affected by what happens? As always, discuss the writing in general, tell us why the piece worked or didn't work, and what the author could do to make it better.


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