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Now that you’ve got some ideas to kick around, it’s time to start making choices. Check out the following exercises and tips to begin crafting the first draft of your story!

Ideas and Techniques

A Memory Exercise
For most fiction writers, only a thin barrier separates memory from illusion. Work on the following exercise with a partner and transform your vivid memories into great yarns!

Character Development
In order to create compelling characters a writer has to ask compelling questions. Answer the following questions about your characters and deepen your understanding of what makes them tick.

Creating Conflict
At the heart of almost every good story resides a strong conflict or struggle. Here are some tips about conflict and how to create it.

Creating Conflict Questionnaire (PDF)
Answer these questions and the structure of your story will appear!

Drafting Dialogue
While many writers have an ear for dialogue, it takes years of practice to get it right on the page. Here are some exercises for developing your ear and putting what you hear down on paper!


Featured Author

“I wrote about three drafts, editing the first draft just after I wrote it, and then again a few days later, so I could look at it with a fresh perspective.”
—Jocelyn Fox
Read Jocelyn's award winning story, "A Small Taste of Normalcy."

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