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10.2: More Practice

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    chapter 10.1: more practice

    There are already PRACTICE PROJECTS listed at the end of each chapter, and those are pretty awesome, as is, BUT if those projects don’t float the boat of whoever is teaching the course, this list might help.


    poetry projects.

    • Write a very, very silly poem about love. Or hate. Rhyme a lot.

    • Create a list of as many new clichés as you can. “Give her the onion,” “quiet like a chipmunk,” “work like hens,” etc. Then, create a poem using the cliché form as your structure.

    • Write a poem that makes the audience cry.


    flash fiction projects.

    • Pulling Over for a Siren. Compose a 250-word flash fiction piece in which you describe a lake, a tree, or a living room from the perspective of one of the following people:

      • Someone who has just committed a violent crime.

      • Someone who has just been told he or she has one year to live.

      • Someone who has just been unfaithful to his or her lover.

      • Describe the lake or tree or room almost exclusively in concrete language; do not allow the narrator to talk about how he or she feels, or what he or she thinks about the scene.


    • The Most Amazing Thing Was the Cheese. Write a story whose first line is: “The most amazing thing was the cheese.”

    • Write a short story which is one sentence long, but at least 200 words in length.

    • Write a story that doesn’t have one sentence over 10 words in length.

    • Write a story about how the world began whether you believe in creationism or evolution, but it has to be 200-250 words in length.


    fiction projects.

    • Write a story with a plot that runs backward in time.

    • Write a story which takes place in a single location, has almost no action, and which involves, at most, four characters. You might position your characters around a table, in a bed, in two chairs, at a window, etc. From a third-person/omniscient point-of-view, create a plot and resolution, etc. Do not use dialogue.

    • In the Unendurable Snow. Make a list of people you strongly dislike. These can be people you personally know very well, or mere acquaintances. Choose one person from your list and then do the following:

      • Write a short story in which the person you’ve just described is the protagonist-and a sympathetic character. (You can use third or first person point-of-view.) There can be (and probably should be) some ambiguity in this character, but he/she should be mostly sympathetic. You should also make this character believable, complex, and distinct. (Note: a “sympathetic character” in fiction is one whom the reader regards favorable; one that evokes sympathy, admiration, or at least empathetic understanding.)

    • Paws. Imagine that you’re a particular animal. Taking the perspective of this creature, and assuming that it is capable of writing, compose a short story in which you describe the world around you. You will be experiencing your environment in an entirely sensory way, and your writing should therefore by full of striking physical detail and metaphor. (For instance, from the point of view of a deer, a hunter’s rifle would be “a branch that barks”?)

    • Write a story about yourself as a fictional character. Change things about yourself if you’d like and make up new characteristics for your friends and life up to this point. Maybe you wanted to grow up in the 70s?


    drama projects.

    • Write a 10min play where every character has a secret, but they never say what it is. The readers have to speculate.

    • Write a 10 min play where every character is secretly evil, but they come across as good people.

    • Write an inner monologue you have had.

    • Write the inner monologue of someone who you don’t know but have seen recently on campus or around town.

    • Create the dialogue of a fake news cast. Be hilarious or be serious or be both.

    • Create dialogue between two friends where each one wants something from the other, but never says so. Maybe Person A wants to buy a necklace and the clerk, Person B, wants to ask Person A out?


    nonfiction projects.

    • Write a story with a plot that runs backward in time.

    • Write a short story with yourself as the main character. Use the third person point-of-view.

    • The Child is Father to the Man: Think back to your childhood and recall some object you were fond of or intrigued by: some new shoes, your mother’s jewelry, a Ferris wheel, and abandoned house, a neighbor’s hostile cat, your father’s buzzsaw, etc. etc.

      • Now write a short prose piece about this object from the perspective of yourself when you were a child. Describe and reflect upon the object just as you did years before, and try not to let your adult perceptions, inhibitions, and embarrassments intrude. Allow yourself to say odd, even nonsensical things. AVOID CUTENESS AND CLICHÉ COMMENTS OR COMPARISONS.

    • Write a fake gossip column about real celebrities.

    • Show and Tell: Write three different stories about the same person in your life. These stories should show us the type of person they are.


    alternative style.

    • Hyperactive: Explore some hypertext literary sites and works on the web. Read some hypertext stories and poems, and explore around also for theory about, and criticism of, such works. Then write your own hypertext poem or story, using resources unique to electronic environments (especially hypertext links, though you might also explore use of moving text, graphics, and sound.) Try any and all programs, software, or skills you might have, including ability to use straight HTML.

    • Creative Slides: Create a PowerPoint or Google Slides that tells a story but only uses punctuation.

    • Go Prezi Crazy! Create a funky Prezi ( that reads like a fractured story.

    • Grammar B: Write a story (fiction or nonfiction) that uses small words - six (6) letters or less. Then write that same story using larger words. Beyond “a,” and “the,” words must be 6 letters or more. You can go back and translate a story you’ve already written for the course into these two stories.

    • Write anything that breaks rules. Before you begin, list the rules you will break. 


    multi-modal, multi-genre, multi-vocal projects.

    • Multimodal: Take any mini-project you’ve completed for this class and add a visual component as well as an audio component. We can discuss in-class how this may be accomplished.

    • Multi-Genre: Take any mini-project you’ve completed for this class and add two more genres to it, to emphasize any part of it. We can discuss in class how this may be accomplished.

    • Another Multi-Genre: Take one of the non-drama mini-projects you’ve written and make it into a play and then create an ad and poster for the play, as if it was going to be produced on campus.

    • Multi-Vocal: Grab a classmate. Pick a topic to write on. Write separately, and then piece your work together with headers or connecting parts that use “we” etc.

    • Photo Essay. Text plus visual = multimodal. People to look up are Walker Evans and James Agee (compare a photo depicting “his lunchtime” versus “my lunchtime, for example).


    This page titled 10.2: More Practice is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Sybil Priebe (Independent Published) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.