Letter to Students: Get Some Action
Monday, March 28, 2016 at 10:16AM
Hannah Sternberg in creativity, letters to students, writing advice, writing games

Every week of Writing Games class, I send an email to my current students with a few extra thoughts on writing and the themes or techniques we explored that week, plus take-home exercises and more. The Letters to Students blog series collects highlights from some of these emails. To sign up for a Writing Games class, visit my Events page.


In our last class, we played a selection of games to explore plot development, writing action scenes, and writing endings. A quick take-home challenge: if you find yourself struggling to write or imagine action scenes in one of your stories, try our action-verb-only exercise. (Every sentence must contain at least one action verb.) It might not result in a scene you want to use in your final draft, but it should help jar you out of your doldrums and start thinking in terms of physical action, and how to keep things moving forward briskly.

Another neat exercise, just to stretch your creative muscles, is to "novelize" an action scene from a movie. Pick a movie you like a lot, and then try to write out one of its action scenes as a story. Explore the pace and type of language you use to describe the scene. See if you can carry that tone over into your own work.

To view all the Letters to Students, click here. 

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