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IWW Practice-W Exercise Archives
Exercise: It's A Crime!

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/).

Created by: Alice Folkart
Posted on: 27 December 2009
Posted on: 29 May 2011
Posted on: 30 June 2013
Posted on: 30 August 2015
Posted on: 05 February 2017
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Exercise: In 400 words or less write a scene with at least two characters and a crime in progress. Give a clear idea of the place and time, what kind of crime it is, who is committing it and what happens. This exercise is all about suspense and action.

You can write about any kind of crime:
- a bank robbery
- a convenience store stick up
- white collar crime - the accountant juggling the books
- political crime - payoffs and manipulation
- corporate crime destroying lives with toxic waste or dangerous products
- even petty crime like lifting a candy bar from the display at the news stand.


Is the perpetrator sympathetic, perhaps committing the crime for what he thinks is a good reason? Or, is he or she an out and out scoundrel? Does he get away with it, or does someone sound the alarm, is he discovered in the act, does he run, is he caught? You needn't write a novel, but these general ideas that might spark your imagination.
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Exercise: In 400 words or less write a scene with at least two characters and a crime in progress. Give a clear idea of the place and time, what kind of crime it is, who is committing it and what happens. This exercise is all about suspense and action.
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In your critique, consider whether the scene grabs you, whether the action moves the scene along, whether the suspense is killing you, what you think of the perpetrator and victims. Would you want to read more?


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