?
General info:
Home
Joining
Rules 
How it works
Participation
Too Many Emails?
Formatting
Listserv Settings
Contact Us

Critiquing Lists:
Fiction
Lovestory
Nonfiction
Novels
Poetry
Practice
Script-writing
Child/Young adult

Discussion Lists:
Writing
MarketChat
SFChat

The IWW Blog Writing Advice

Other Topics:
FAQ
LINKS
Our administrators
Other writing lists
Books on writing
IWW History
Showcase of Successes


IWW Practice-W Exercise Archives
Exercise: My Way or the Highway (Version 4)

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: Rheal Nadeau
Posted on: 16 Dec 2001
Reposted on: 5 Dec 2004
Reposted, revised, on: 1 Oct 2006
Reposted on: 28 Oct 2007
Revised, reposted on: 3 Jul 2011
Reposted on: 28 Jul 2013
Reposted on: 27 Sep 2015
Reposted on: 17 Sep 2017

-------------------------

Exercise: In 400 words or less, put two or more characters in a
position of conflict. It should be reasonably clear to the reader what
motivates each character. Avoid outright exposition: show the conflict,
don't tell us about it.

-------------------------

Conflict is with us every day, from the war in Iraq to a teen arguing
against a curfew. Both sides are convinced they are right.

At times conflicts arise apart from a difference of opinion. One party
perceives an unfairness that may or may not exist. Think of the
stereotypical argument between a husband and wife, based not on real
conflict but on unstated expectations and perceived faults.

Each character must act for plausible reasons, based on valid
motivations; each must have his or her own goals, aspirations, or fears.
It is not necessary to resolve the conflict; submissions here are not
meant to be full stories. And it doesn't have to be a major conflict; it
could be a minor conflict that interferes with some bigger goal.

-------------------------

Exercise: In 400 words or less, put two or more characters in a
position of conflict. It should be reasonably clear to the reader what
motivates each character. Avoid outright exposition: show the conflict,
don't tell us about it.

-------------------------

When you critique, pay attention to the character motivations. Are they
credible? Too obvious, or too subtle? Remember--a good critique is
specific, not general.


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