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IWW Practice-W Exercise Archives
Exercise: Old Friends

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: Sun, December 16, 2012
Reposted on: Sun, July 19, 2015
Reposted on: Sun, July 16, 2017

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In 400 words or less describe a meeting between two people who used to be friends as children, in college, in the military, at work, or wherever they might have known each other. They haven't seen each other for 20 years.

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Were they really friends? Why are they meeting now? How did they lose and/or find each other? Instead of giving us a physical description of these two, let their thoughts, conversation, and actions give us a sense of who they are. Do they meet in a public place or on the territory of one or the other? Why? Who dominates? Have these two ever been in love? In competition? Who won?

Are they secretly critical of each other or are they delighted to find each other again? Has either of them turned out very differently from what the other expected? Has the jock become a professor of ancient languages or the campus beauty queen turned into a frumpy grandmother? Has either of them become wealthy or impoverished? Does either of them have health problems? How many times has each been married?

____________

In 400 words or less describe a meeting between two people who used to be friends as children, in college, in the military, at work, or wherever they might have known each other. They haven't seen each other for 20 years.

____________

In your critique tell the author what you think of these characters. Do you like or hate them? Why? What has the author done that makes you feel this way? Is either one lying about something? Does the way the author presents these people give you a clear picture of the characters? Would you want to read more about them? And finally, don't forget to point out any writing craft issues.


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