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IWW Practice-W Exercise Archives
Exercise: Caught in the Act

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: November 27, 2011
Reposted on: December 2, 2012
Reposted on: March 23, 2014
Reposted on: March 29, 2015
Reposted on: October 9, 2016

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In 400 words or less write a scene in which someone is 'caught in the act.'
Focus on the emotions of the person who discovers what is going on and of
the person who is caught. Your scene could rely heavily on description and
inner dialogue, or it could give you an opportunity to use dialogue to
provide back story. You could open your scene with the 'catching,' or build
up to it.

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The 'act' can be something good or something not so good: a child swiping a
cookie from the cookie jar, someone doing an anonymous good turn, or a
jewel thief helping herself to diamonds, the church secretary taking a cut
of the tithes. The scene could show a wife catching her husband in an act
that is not what she expected to find—she might be suspecting that her
husband is fooling around with her best friend, but when she confronts
them, she finds that they're planning a surprise party for her.

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In 400 words or less write a scene in which someone is 'caught in the act.'
Focus on the emotions of the person who discovers what is going on and of
the person who is caught. Your scene could rely heavily on description and
inner dialogue, or it could give you an opportunity to use dialogue to
provide back story. You could open your scene with the 'catching,' or build
up to it.

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

In your critique, consider whether the writer elicits your sympathy for any
of the characters, and whether the surprise of catching someone at
something is well set up. From the details of this short scene are you able
to imagine what went before and might come after. Would you read more?


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