Tag Archives: writing class

Writing Exercises


Some of my favorite college writing professors started our classes with a quote about writing, or with a writing exercise to get our creativity flowing. This article from McSweeney’s, a literature/humor site run by the publishing house of the same name, has some great quotes about writing from famous authors and an…interesting…take on the writing exercise. I got a good laugh, and hope you do too.

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Writing Class Update

Tonight is my second novel writing class, so I thought I’d give you a little update.

The first class was absolutely fabulous!  It started out well when I found my way to the classroom building without getting lost.  And then an hour and 15 minutes devoted to writing exercises that help you develop a character.  Heavenly.  I enjoyed it so much, it felt like 5 minutes, not 75.

The beginning was a little nerve-wracking, though, because most of my classmates said that they had already developed plots for their novels, and we jumped right into character exercises.

“Pick one of your characters, and write the answers to the questions I ask you, as if you were your character.  It’s a way to get inside their head and really understand their motivations.” (says instructor).

“Oh, no…” (thinks Maura).  “I have no characters.  I have no plot!  I thought we’d ease into this stuff!”

After my momentary panic attack, I settled down, and actually created a character on the fly, in those 75 minutes.  You’ll have to wait for the final product to learn more about her, because I don’t want to give anything away–it’s a mystery novel, you see.

But there I was, outside my box and kind of freaking out, but I pushed through and tried my best.  And found out that it’s not so bad outside my box.  I actually really enjoyed it there.

Mind you, I have yet to share anything about this character with my classmates, or read passages aloud during class, so I haven’t crossed the biggest hurdles yet.  But I’m liking my progress.

I saw this quote on Twitter yesterday, and it inspired me, as I head back for my second class tonight:

“If you have the courage to begin, you have the courage to succeed.” ~David Viscott

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