Things Are Not What They Seem: A Brief Writing Exercise

There are thirty-two ways to write a story, and I’ve used every one, but there is only one plot–things are not as they seem.  ~ Jim Thompson
 

I love this quote. While I can’t say that there are indeed precisely thirty-two ways to write a story, the assessment of plot rings true. Why else would we continue to delve in to a story beyond the first lines if not to discover some revelation or another?

Things are never what they seem at first glance — look deeper and, while you may not find shocking secrets or epiphany, you will find something about a character, a landscape, that is being held secret in those first lines.

While pondering “things are not what they seem” write a minimum of one hundred words (a maximum of 300) to open a story. Your mission is to write the introduction to a character living in an environment to which they are not accustomed. What could have brought them to this place, this time? Did they arrive on their own steam, or did another person inspire them to make the journey? Make us want to find the truth of it all. 

In addition to sharing a link to your introduction in comments below, I invite you to reblog this exercise on your WordPress page — share the writing love! #gobeawesome

 

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