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IWW Practice-W Exercise Archives
Exercise: Mannequin Musings

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: Charles Hightower
Posted on: 27 December 2015
Posted on: 21 May 2017

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In 400 words or less, give life, or at least give thought, to an inanimate object that resembles human form, animal form, or that of a mythical being. We see many objects made to look like a living thing. Think of a store mannequin, statue, scarecrow, cartoonish effigy, puppet, doll, marionette, piñata, automaton, gargoyle, etc. Breathe conscious thought into one.

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If these silent creations could observe the world around them, what would they think about what they see and hear? Could they communicate with others like themselves? Could they sometimes transition into flesh and bone and interact with living beings?

Describe your creation so that it is visible to the reader. We generally strive to show, and not tell. However, given the exercise, this could be a challenge. Try to show the creation’s personality, emotions, thoughts, and so on.

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In 400 words or less, give life, or at least give thought, to an inanimate object that resembles human form, animal form, or that of a mythical being. We see many objects made to look like a living thing. Think of a store mannequin, statue, scarecrow, cartoonish effigy, puppet, doll, marionette, piñata, automaton, gargoyle, etc. Breathe conscious thought into one.

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In your critique, be sure to address whether the writing captured and held your attention. Would you want to read more? Were there specific areas of the writing that you particularly liked or disliked? Did the author succeed in showing, without telling? Could you see what the creation looked like? Did its personality and emotions feel genuine?


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Modified by Gayle Surrette.