Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Dilemma You Don't Want to Face

I'm teaching a short fiction writing class this term. Many students are finding the class much more challenging than they thought they would – a statement that has very little to do with the guy at the front of the classroom, I assure you.

For one thing, kids these days have very little free time. Life is scheduled. SAT class. Sports practices. Clubs. Activities. All of which leave very little time to sit back and read for enjoyment. (Will they have time to find that one author who changes everything for them like most writers do?) And, of course, they face many distractions. iPads. iPods. Youtube.

When students come to me looking for story ideas, I have a go-to suggestion I will share with you this week.

Write a story about any topic you want, featuring characters you create. Carefully consider the point of view, setting details, dialogue, narration, etc. There is only one requirement: think of a story or novel you read recently, one that moved you. One character from that work must appear in your story. He or she can have as large or small a role as you wish.

Need ideas? Read newspaper briefs, follow Huffington Post Crime Section on Twitter, think of people you have met, recall complex life experiences you have lived through/seen, and/or begin with a question or dilemma you would NOT want to face.

No comments: