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IWW Practice-W Exercise Archives
Exercise: Lost and Found

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: Alice Folkart
Posted on: June 12, 2011
Re-posted on January 3, 2016


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In 400 words or less, show us a character who has lost someone or something, searches for, and finds it. The character can be solo or have supporting characters.

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Losing something important can be emotionally devastating, or at the very least, inconvenient. In this exercise show what's lost: a person, an animal or an object, or even something intangible like faith or trust. Show why it's important to your character to get it back--what part of did it play in his or her life, what did it represent? How does the character react? To what lengths will this person go to recover it? Consider the opportunities for comedy in this exercise.

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In 400 words or less, show us a character who has lost someone or something, searches for, and finds it. The character can be solo or have supporting characters.

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In your critique consider whether the author makes us care about this character and whether or not what has been lost is found. Are setting and sensory detail used effectively to heighten or reflect the character's situation? Did the author attempt humor, and if so, was it successful? And of course, consider the merit of the writing as a whole.


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