Outline key elements of your story, poem, or essay with one simple exercise
As I was reorganizing files last week, I found a writing exercise I’d done that helped me see how I could quickly sketch out the outline of a story from beginning to end in about 12 to 15 sentences (or more depending on how deep you want to take it).
I discovered the exercise in the book Writing and Publishing Personal Essays by Sheila Bender. She assigns it to help her students practice collecting sensory images. She credits a poem by poet Charles Proctor as the inspiration.
It’s a good focusing tool to note the key elements of a writing idea and chart the beginning, moments of conflict, middle, and resolution. And it works whether you’re writing a poem, memoir, short story, or novel. Read more