Summer, Online Intro to CW Writing Exercise: “Code Switch”

Writing Exercise: “Code Switch” Read a little bit about the linguistic concept of “code-switching.” Now, let’s apply it to your creative writing. Create a dramatic situation in which a first-person narrator has to switch between two different types of language in her narration and in her dialogue, e.g. her dialogue with her best friend is […]

“Debate” Writing Exercise for Craft of Prose

In the “Debate” writing exercise, students are asked to create two characters—political candidates—with unique syntax and diction in order to debate a phony issue, like whether muffins should actually be called cake, for example. In doing so, they learn how to format dialogue; to progress action through dialogue; and how to demonstrate a character’s values, […]

Writing Exercise “Step 1” for Craft of Prose

In “Step 1,” I’m asking students to develop their skills in the imperative and descriptive moods so that a character and/or narrator can demonstrate or walk through an concept or action. They will base their preliminary discussion on “The Unforgivable Curses” chapter of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the semester’s icebreaker text, as well […]

Guess Who Reading Discussion Prompt for Craft of Prose

In this reading discussion prompt, students are asked to consider what elements contribute to our understanding of character in this “Guess Who” game in which students draw a character who appears in chapters 3–12 of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and then describe them by answering a series of questions. They will use […]

Poetry Reading Calibration and a Writing Exercise for the First Day of Poetry Workshop

Note: In an effort to keep this blog updated regularly, I’m going to be storing my writing exercises and handouts in my Google Drive. I will post these exercises as a link here. This single document includes three different components: An introduction questionnaire, allowing students to tell me a little about them, their needs, and their preferences. […]

“I look in the mirror and hold up my mangled hand”: An Adversarial Persona Exercise

Genre: Poetry Purpose: To consider how persona, point of view, voice, argument, and empathy can support and/or complicate one another Readings: “Skinhead” by Patricia Smith Watch Patricia Smith perform “Skinhead”: https://youtu.be/Klb5TniRGao. Discuss. Jot down some notes about a situation in which you found yourself in direct opposition with someone else. Perhaps it’s as extreme as […]