Exercises

Here you will find the meat of this book: the exercises.

Some years ago, I taught a course called Writing and the Creative Process. It was a general education course aimed at students without much, if any, experience as creative writers. Through the years of teaching the course, I tried out many exercises. Through the years, many exercises went by the wayside, but a core group remained, and I started trying some of them out in other types of classes as well. Those exercises are at the core of this book. Though most are aimed at beginning (and even reluctant) creative writers, many may be useful to more advanced writers, as well. We all need to train our imaginations, all need to seek escape from imposed structures, all need to play again with words.

Though I will often grab one or two of these exercises to use in various types of courses, when I used these exercises together in a creative writing course, they followed a progression of seven units: 1. First Things (introductory exercises), 2. Shaping Raw Material, 3. Images and Senses, 4. Words, 5. Sentences and Lines, 6. Paragraphs and Stanzas, 7. Revision. They exercises are organized in that order here.

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