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IWW Practice-W Exercise Archives
Exercise: Picture It!

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: Sun, 20 May 2001
Reposted on: Sat, 23 May 2004
Reposted, revised, on: Sun, 18 Oct. 2009
Reposted: Sun, 12 May 2013
Reposted: Sun, 11 May 2014
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Exercise: In less than 400 words, choose a picture--any picture--and write a scene that takes place in the space portrayed.

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When you set a scene, you're painting a picture for your readers. Sometimes it's easy--if an airplane's taking off your characters are probably on an airfield or in the plane, and they act appropriately. Sometimes you have many more options.

For this exercise, choose the scene first, and then find some characters and let them do whatever they want to do. Use a picture--any picture you choose--for your scene. It can be a photo in a magazine, a painting, somebody's drawing, even a calendar picture. Tell your readers what it is in only a few words--if you get it off the Web, give us the URL. You might say: "A barn in winter, six cows waiting to be milked." Or, "In the Oval office; the President's not there." Doesn't matter what or where. But make sure your readers can "see" the scene.

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Exercise: In less than 400 words, choose a picture--any picture--and write a scene that takes place in the space portrayed.

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In your critiques, let the author know whether you can "see" the picture in which the scene takes place, and whether the actions of the characters make sense. Also, critique the writing, and let the author know what could have been done better.


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Modified by Gayle Surrette.