Wednesday, July 1, 2009

writing challenge 3

Write the first line of a new story. Try to reveal character, or show setting, or introduce conflict, or begin mid-dialogue, or establish a specific voice. Draw in the reader.

Put your first line in the Comments.

Then go write the story.

Monday, June 22, 2009

summer writing exercise

Write a short scene, a moment, that feels like summer. Steamy pool days, heat lightning at night, sticky dripping popsicles, long breezy drives down winding roads, walking under the giant hanging moon...


Thursday, June 18, 2009

line-by-line story

Collaborate to create a story by adding one line at a time. Remember to use your line to reveal character and move the plot, turn the story, along with using language in interesting ways. You may add as many lines as you like, but do not post two lines in a row. This is a good exercise in allowing a story to unfold as you write it.

First line: Before today, Allison had never set foot in a junkyard.


Monday, May 4, 2009

class discussion 1

Prose class: In the comments for this post, please leave your thoughts on Ben Fountain's Brief Encounters with Che Guevara: Stories. You may comment on individual stories (use of language, theme, writer's choices) as well as on the book as a whole (structure, order, overall thematic development). Feel free to also respond to the comments of others (thoughtfully, respectfully).


Friday, April 17, 2009

what we're reading

The what we're reading list to the right currently lists the textbooks for the spring Prose class. Next quarter, we'll use that section to list books that MFA students, faculty, and others are reading right now... or have read and loved. Add your books in the comments section of this post.

And if you haven't read it yet, read The Road.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

writing challenge 2

If you published your memoir today, what would be the title?

The challenge: choose just the right title that exactly defines YOU--and makes us want to read more.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

challenge 1 results

In the Winter 09 issue of the MFA newsletter, readers were challenged to write a mini-story in exactly 100 words without repeating a single word. Congratulations to Lindenwood faculty member Charlene Engleking for conquering this challenge! Her winning submission appears below and will appear in the Spring 09 newsletter (which will be distributed mid-May).

Feel free to continue trying to tackle this challenge by adding your own mini-story in the comments sections for this post.

By Charlene Engleking:
In creaking rocking chairs six porch dwellers watch the sun set on another day without visitors. Floorboards answer every dip and return, each sigh; this chorus of complaining joints, sensible shoes, furniture, planking. They remember childhood, but have forgotten today. Most recognize kindergarten classmates' pictures eight decades past, can recite state capitols, Old Testament books Genesis to Proverbs, yet neighbors' names sift through arthritic fingers, lost. Life may be easier without parental memories. No children's snub can damage reality. Moon rises, television noise beckons. Maybe Ed Sullivan, Johnny Carson, perhaps only bedtime. Tomorrow--sunrise: more rhythmic waiting, sitting, remembering, forgetting.