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Sensory Exercises: Finishing

October 4, 2006

For the past six weeks, we’ve worked on a series of exercises focusing on the six senses. We have one story that’s been revised each week to incorporate the “sense of the week” into it, and six separate short stories, one with each prompt as its focus.

Now it’s time to go back over all the stories. Revise them. You want to make sure that, in the individual sensory pieces that, while the piece is focused on the specific sense, it does not mean that every other element of a good story. As you revise the stories, think less about the parameters of the particular exercise and more about what makes it the best story it can be. The exercises are merely jumping off points, points of inspirations – it’s up to you to take them and run with them.

In my case, one of the exercises “the taste of single malt whisky”, resulted in a story of nearly 7k called “The Retriever”, introducing two of my favorite characters to date, Sean and Elle. I have at least four more adventures mapped out for them, and the original story is out on submission. The whisky is not the focus of the plotline, but it’s an element in the story, both at the beginning and near the end, and the characters ran off on their own.

Please feel free to share you own experiences with the various exercises, and the types of stories they sparked.

We’ll take a break from exercises for the next few weeks to discuss some other writing topics.

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