Writing Practice

Try Sawyer's suggestion.

1. Come up with a premise for a story or use one from the previous exercise. Sawyer offers the example of "an alien who can read subconscious instead of conscious thoughts."

2. Write a brief description of the premise.

3. Now, create a character that precisely fits your premise. Sawyer's example continued, "a guy...who's been suppressing terrible memories of the suicide of his wife."

4. Insert the character into the premise; write a story.

What did you discover about your process in that exercise? Try reversing it now.

1. Construct a character or use one from the first exercise in this chapter. Freewrite a description of that character.

2. Create a context for that character and insert him. Write another story.

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