Monday, May 2, 2016

Practice Exercises

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A few members of our local writer's group attended the Texas Mountain Trail Writers Spring Retreat in the beautiful Indian Lodge at Davis Mountains State Park.

 The facilitator for the retreat was Daryl Scroggins from Marfa, Texas. For many years, Mr. Scroggins taught poetry and fiction writing workshops at the University of Texas (Dallas), the University of North Texas, and The Writer’s Garret, a private institution.



Mr. Scroggins suggested some very interesting exercises.  One group exercise consists of participants creating a character in their minds, then write a few paragraphs about a room the character might live in. The paragraphs are read aloud to the group, and the other participants try and describe what kind of character lives there.

Another is called the "Threats" exercise:

Write three separate examples of a single sentence in which a threat is implied (by one person to another). Try to indirectly suggest as much as possible about the context in which the threat is delivered. A well-made sentence will be one that leads readers to accurately speculate about such things as the nature of the conflict, the setting in which the threat takes place, and the appearance and personality traits of the people involved. Limit  each sentence to no more than thirty words.

Examples: "I have lots of puppies just like this one in the van, if you would like to get in and take a look."

At the Grand Canyon- one stop in a very long vacation-the unruly children were each held over the edge for a moment to take in the view.

Carla looked at her black eye in the hand mirror, then set about cutting her husband's hair with the long scissors.

Cautions: Avoid common expressions, such as: "You walk out that door and I will never speak to you again." or "One more step and I'll pull the trigger."

Avoid the temptation to cram your sentences with information: "You've killed the kids, quit your Post Office job, disguised yourself as Santa-and now you think I won't risk smoking up this Plaza Hotel suite by shooting you?"

Avoid artificially specific references: "I'm Dick Cheny, and if you get in my way again you're going to find yourself on a quail hunt with me behind you."

The purpose of this exercise is to offer practice for suggesting information in dramatic fashion, rather than simply listing each detail in the narrative.

Mr. Scroggins' fiction, non-fiction, and poetry pieces have appeared in magazines and anthologies across the country. He has won national literary contests for his poetry and prose. Some of his works have been published in poetry and fiction chapbooks. He is the author of three full-length books: The Game of Kings, a prose poem sequence (Rancho Loco Press); Winter Investments, a collection of short stories (Trilobite Press); and This Is Not the Way We Came In, a collection of flash fiction and a flash fiction novel (Ravenna Press).

The facilitator for the retreat is Daryl Scroggins from Marfa. For many years, Mr. Scroggins taught poetry and fiction writing workshops at the University of Texas (Dallas), the University of North Texas, and The Writer’s Garret, a private institution.
His fiction, non-fiction, and poetry pieces have appeared in magazines and anthologies across the country. He has won national literary contests for his poetry and prose. Some of his works have been published in poetry and fiction chapbooks. He is the author of three full-length books: The Game of Kings, a prose poem sequence (Rancho Loco Press); Winter Investments, a collection of short stories (Trilobite Press); and This Is Not the Way We Came In, a collection of flash fiction and a flash fiction novel (Ravenna Press).
- See more at: http://texasmountaintrailwriters.org/2016-writers-retreat/#sthash.mAZSpblv.dpuf
The facilitator for the retreat is Daryl Scroggins from Marfa. For many years, Mr. Scroggins taught poetry and fiction writing workshops at the University of Texas (Dallas), the University of North Texas, and The Writer’s Garret, a private institution.
His fiction, non-fiction, and poetry pieces have appeared in magazines and anthologies across the country. He has won national literary contests for his poetry and prose. Some of his works have been published in poetry and fiction chapbooks. He is the author of three full-length books: The Game of Kings, a prose poem sequence (Rancho Loco Press); Winter Investments, a collection of short stories (Trilobite Press); and This Is Not the Way We Came In, a collection of flash fiction and a flash fiction novel (Ravenna Press).
- See more at: http://texasmountaintrailwriters.org/2016-writers-retreat/#sthash.mAZSpblv.dpuf
The facilitator for the retreat is Daryl Scroggins from Marfa. For many years, Mr. Scroggins taught poetry and fiction writing workshops at the University of Texas (Dallas), the University of North Texas, and The Writer’s Garret, a private institution.
His fiction, non-fiction, and poetry pieces have appeared in magazines and anthologies across the country. He has won national literary contests for his poetry and prose. Some of his works have been published in poetry and fiction chapbooks. He is the author of three full-length books: The Game of Kings, a prose poem sequence (Rancho Loco Press); Winter Investments, a collection of short stories (Trilobite Press); and This Is Not the Way We Came In, a collection of flash fiction and a flash fiction novel (Ravenna Press).
- See more at: http://texasmountaintrailwriters.org/2016-writers-retreat/#sthash.mAZSpblv.dpuf
The facilitator for the retreat is Daryl Scroggins from Marfa. For many years, Mr. Scroggins taught poetry and fiction writing workshops at the University of Texas (Dallas), the University of North Texas, and The Writer’s Garret, a private institution.
His fiction, non-fiction, and poetry pieces have appeared in magazines and anthologies across the country. He has won national literary contests for his poetry and prose. Some of his works have been published in poetry and fiction chapbooks. He is the author of three full-length books: The Game of Kings, a prose poem sequence (Rancho Loco Press); Winter Investments, a collection of short stories (Trilobite Press); and This Is Not the Way We Came In, a collection of flash fiction and a flash fiction novel (Ravenna Press).
- See more at: http://texasmountaintrailwriters.org/2016-writers-retreat/#sthash.mAZSpblv.dpuf
The facilitator for the retreat is Daryl Scroggins from Marfa. For many years, Mr. Scroggins taught poetry and fiction writing workshops at the University of Texas (Dallas), the University of North Texas, and The Writer’s Garret, a private institution.
His fiction, non-fiction, and poetry pieces have appeared in magazines and anthologies across the country. He has won national literary contests for his poetry and prose. Some of his works have been published in poetry and fiction chapbooks. He is the author of three full-length books: The Game of Kings, a prose poem sequence (Rancho Loco Press); Winter Investments, a collection of short stories (Trilobite Press); and This Is Not the Way We Came In, a collection of flash fiction and a flash fiction novel (Ravenna Press).
- See more at: http://texasmountaintrailwriters.org/2016-writers-retreat/#sthash.mAZSpblv.dpuf

The facilitator for the retreat is Daryl Scroggins from Marfa. For many years, Mr. Scroggins taught poetry and fiction writing workshops at the University of Texas (Dallas), the University of North Texas, and The Writer’s Garret, a private institution.
His fiction, non-fiction, and poetry pieces have appeared in magazines and anthologies across the country. He has won national literary contests for his poetry and prose. Some of his works have been published in poetry and fiction chapbooks. He is the author of three full-length books: The Game of Kings, a prose poem sequence (Rancho Loco Press); Winter Investments, a collection of short stories (Trilobite Press); and This Is Not the Way We Came In, a collection of flash fiction and a flash fiction novel (Ravenna Press).
- See more at: http://texasmountaintrailwriters.org/2016-writers-retreat/#sthash.mAZSpblv.dpuf
The facilitator for the retreat is Daryl Scroggins from Marfa. For many years, Mr. Scroggins taught poetry and fiction writing workshops at the University of Texas (Dallas), the University of North Texas, and The Writer’s Garret, a private institution.
His fiction, non-fiction, and poetry pieces have appeared in magazines and anthologies across the country. He has won national literary contests for his poetry and prose. Some of his works have been published in poetry and fiction chapbooks. He is the author of three full-length books: The Game of Kings, a prose poem sequence (Rancho Loco Press); Winter Investments, a collection of short stories (Trilobite Press); and This Is Not the Way We Came In, a collection of flash fiction and a flash fiction novel (Ravenna Press).
- See more at: http://texasmountaintrailwriters.org/2016-writers-retreat/#sthash.mAZSpblv.dpuf
The facilitator for the retreat is Daryl Scroggins from Marfa. For many years, Mr. Scroggins taught poetry and fiction writing workshops at the University of Texas (Dallas), the University of North Texas, and The Writer’s Garret, a private institution.
His fiction, non-fiction, and poetry pieces have appeared in magazines and anthologies across the country. He has won national literary contests for his poetry and prose. Some of his works have been published in poetry and fiction chapbooks. He is the author of three full-length books: The Game of Kings, a prose poem sequence (Rancho Loco Press); Winter Investments, a collection of short stories (Trilobite Press); and This Is Not the Way We Came In, a collection of flash fiction and a flash fiction novel (Ravenna Press).
- See more at: http://texasmountaintrailwriters.org/2016-writers-retreat/#sthash.mAZSpblv.dpuf
The facilitator for the retreat is Daryl Scroggins from Marfa. For many years, Mr. Scroggins taught poetry and fiction writing workshops at the University of Texas (Dallas), the University of North Texas, and The Writer’s Garret, a private institution.
His fiction, non-fiction, and poetry pieces have appeared in magazines and anthologies across the country. He has won national literary contests for his poetry and prose. Some of his works have been published in poetry and fiction chapbooks. He is the author of three full-length books: The Game of Kings, a prose poem sequence (Rancho Loco Press); Winter Investments, a collection of short stories (Trilobite Press); and This Is Not the Way We Came In, a collection of flash fiction and a flash fiction novel (Ravenna Press).
- See more at: http://texasmountaintrailwriters.org/2016-writers-retreat/#sthash.mAZSpblv.dpuf
The facilitator for the retreat is Daryl Scroggins from Marfa. For many years, Mr. Scroggins taught poetry and fiction writing workshops at the University of Texas (Dallas), the University of North Texas, and The Writer’s Garret, a private institution.
His fiction, non-fiction, and poetry pieces have appeared in magazines and anthologies across the country. He has won national literary contests for his poetry and prose. Some of his works have been published in poetry and fiction chapbooks. He is the author of three full-length books: The Game of Kings, a prose poem sequence (Rancho Loco Press); Winter Investments, a collection of short stories (Trilobite Press); and This Is Not the Way We Came In, a collection of flash fiction and a flash fiction novel (Ravenna Press).
- See more at: http://texasmountaintrailwriters.org/2016-writers-retreat/#sthash.mAZSpblv.dpuf
The facilitator for the retreat is Daryl Scroggins from Marfa. For many years, Mr. Scroggins taught poetry and fiction writing workshops at the University of Texas (Dallas), the University of North Texas, and The Writer’s Garret, a private institution.
His fiction, non-fiction, and poetry pieces have appeared in magazines and anthologies across the country. He has won national literary contests for his poetry and prose. Some of his works have been published in poetry and fiction chapbooks. He is the author of three full-length books: The Game of Kings, a prose poem sequence (Rancho Loco Press); Winter Investments, a collection of short stories (Trilobite Press); and This Is Not the Way We Came In, a collection of flash fiction and a flash fiction novel (Ravenna Press).
- See more at: http://texasmountaintrailwriters.org/2016-writers-retreat/#sthash.mAZSpblv.dpuf
The facilitator for the retreat is Daryl Scroggins from Marfa. For many years, Mr. Scroggins taught poetry and fiction writing workshops at the University of Texas (Dallas), the University of North Texas, and The Writer’s Garret, a private institution.
His fiction, non-fiction, and poetry pieces have appeared in magazines and anthologies across the country. He has won national literary contests for his poetry and prose. Some of his works have been published in poetry and fiction chapbooks. He is the author of three full-length books: The Game of Kings, a prose poem sequence (Rancho Loco Press); Winter Investments, a collection of short stories (Trilobite Press); and This Is Not the Way We Came In, a collection of flash fiction and a flash fiction novel (Ravenna Press).
- See more at: http://texasmountaintrailwriters.org/2016-writers-retreat/#sthash.mAZSpblv.dpuf
The facilitator for the retreat is Daryl Scroggins from Marfa. For many years, Mr. Scroggins taught poetry and fiction writing workshops at the University of Texas (Dallas), the University of North Texas, and The Writer’s Garret, a private institution.
His fiction, non-fiction, and poetry pieces have appeared in magazines and anthologies across the country. He has won national literary contests for his poetry and prose. Some of his works have been published in poetry and fiction chapbooks. He is the author of three full-length books: The Game of Kings, a prose poem sequence (Rancho Loco Press); Winter Investments, a collection of short stories (Trilobite Press); and This Is Not the Way We Came In, a collection of flash fiction and a flash fiction novel (Ravenna Press).
- See more at: http://texasmountaintrailwriters.org/2016-writers-retreat/#sthash.mAZSpblv.dpuf
The facilitator for the retreat is Daryl Scroggins from Marfa. For many years, Mr. Scroggins taught poetry and fiction writing workshops at the University of Texas (Dallas), the University of North Texas, and The Writer’s Garret, a private institution.
His fiction, non-fiction, and poetry pieces have appeared in magazines and anthologies across the country. He has won national literary contests for his poetry and prose. Some of his works have been published in poetry and fiction chapbooks. He is the author of three full-length books: The Game of Kings, a prose poem sequence (Rancho Loco Press); Winter Investments, a collection of short stories (Trilobite Press); and This Is Not the Way We Came In, a collection of flash fiction and a flash fiction novel (Ravenna Press).
- See more at: http://texasmountaintrailwriters.org/2016-writers-retreat/#sthash.mAZSpblv.dpuf
The facilitator for the retreat is Daryl Scroggins from Marfa. For many years, Mr. Scroggins taught poetry and fiction writing workshops at the University of Texas (Dallas), the University of North Texas, and The Writer’s Garret, a private institution.
His fiction, non-fiction, and poetry pieces have appeared in magazines and anthologies across the country. He has won national literary contests for his poetry and prose. Some of his works have been published in poetry and fiction chapbooks. He is the author of three full-length books: The Game of Kings, a prose poem sequence (Rancho Loco Press); Winter Investments, a collection of short stories (Trilobite Press); and This Is Not the Way We Came In, a collection of flash fiction and a flash fiction novel (Ravenna Press).
- See more at: http://texasmountaintrailwriters.org/2016-writers-retreat/#sthash.mAZSpblv.dpuf
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4 comments:

  1. Intriguing! Thanks for sharing, Jody.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That sounds like a writers retreat I'd love to join! Good article, Jody!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was great! Beautiful up there, too.

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