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High Intensity Writing Workout No. 7

High Intensity Writing Workout No. 7

Up to this point, the High Intensity Writing Workouts have focused largely on characters and dialogue. Characters are the lifeblood of any story. We read for characters. If a writer can get them done correctly—making them believable—then the writer will have a career. What most writers don’t realize is that the worlds we create—no matter […]

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High Intensity Writing Workshop No. 6

High Intensity Writing Workshop No. 6

Despite the fact that this will be one of the shorter exercises, it’s one of the most important you can use to develop characters and their unique voices. Previously I’ve had you work on dialogue so you could avoid the “he said” tags which make dialogues choppy. By the end of this exercise you’ll understand […]

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High Intensity Writing Workout No. 5

High Intensity Writing Workout No. 5

This week’s workout expands a great deal on what you did in HIWW No. 4 because it’s all about character. Last week I had you creating a basic character, listing out a handful of facts about her, generate some goals and story ideas, then go back and change one fact. From there you got to […]

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High Intensity Writing Workout No. 4

High Intensity Writing Workout No. 4

A lot of writers—especially beginning writers—choose to believe that writers fall into one of two camps: Plot-based writers and Character-based (or Organic™) writers. The problem with this view is that it suggests that one can have plots without characters and vice versa. And, I suppose, this is true in a general sense; but not in […]

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High Intensity Writing Workout No. 3

High Intensity Writing Workout No. 3

This exercise harkens back to what we covered in High Intensity Writing Workout No. 1. You’ll be using some of the skills you developed there to get through this workout. One “problem area” (to keep the workout metaphor working) for most writers early on in their careers involves tunnel vision. Whether working from notes or […]

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High Intensity Writing Workout No. 2

High Intensity Writing Workout No. 2

One of the goals of any good writing is to pack a lot of information into as few words as possible. The biggest culprit in preventing this is the verb “to be.” The reason is simple: the verb is the lowest-common verb—it applies almost anywhere. But it is weak and flabby and applied too broadly. […]

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High Intensity Writing Workout No. 1

High Intensity Writing Workout No. 1

Because I’ve started teaching online writing classes through Arizona State University’s Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, I’ve been having to put together exercises to help students understand and master a variety of techniques. One of the things I’m pretty much death on is using he said/she said or their variants in dialogue. I […]

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