The Big Writing Assignment, A 10 page paper for fun

My next writing exercise from Finding Your Voice is to write a 10 page paper on my biggest writing weakness, identify authors whose writing is strong in that area, and analyze how they do it.

My biggest writing weakness–not by biggest human weakness (we'll save that for another day)–is that I don't show what's going on inside my character's head. I need to show what the character is thinking so the reader can connect with the character. The most common feedback from my rejections is that the editor or agent did not connect with the character. Almost every month at writing group, I'm asked to include more of what my character is thinking, her reactions and thoughts.

I've identified these writers and books to analyze:

Chris Crutcher, Deadline

Shannon Hale, Enna Burning

Carol Lynch Williams, the chosen one

Sydney Salter, Swoon at Your Own Risk

I will post my paper when it's done. I should learn a lot about how to show what my character is thinking.

Organic images exercises

I'm learning to find my voice from Finding Your Voice by Les Edgerton and I'm going to put myself out there and post some of the writing exercises. I'm supposed to "create a line or three that gives a metaphor or image that could only "work" within the parameters of that environment and that environment only" (pg. 128-129).

1. You're writing a story from the pov of a nun teaching a history class in a parochial high school in Kentucky. The situation is, she's just caught Brenda cheating on an exam.

"Brenda. Your hand. Show it to me."

Sister Agnes stands over me like a fence post shadowing the prairie grass. I open my palm and wait for her wrath.

2. You're writing an article about lawn care for a magazine. You've interviewed dozens of experts and are focusing on some common mistakes lawn-care nuts make in caring for their pride and joy patch of Bermuda bent.

You can in fact over water Bermuda grass. The experts say your lawn will look mud hardened as if your neighbor dumped their car wash water onto your lawn so no one will know they wasted precious water for the sake of vanity.

3. You're penning your autobiography. You grew up on the hard-scrabble, mean streets of Gobbler's Knob, Michigan (population 303), and you're describing a Little League experience from your childhood.

If you didn't toe up and play, then you better show up and scream the corn flakes out of your guts cheering. Me, I played once and took that ball in the eye. Then hot-tailed it to first base swerving like Ms. Matkin driving down the street and swatting at Herman to pull his arm back in the car.