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Writing exercise idea.
Alexander Hollins
Posted: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 4:45 PM
Joined: 3/13/2011
Posts: 416

Hey all, I've had an idea percolating in my shiny round noggin the last few days, thought I'd run it by you all. 
In music, there is a common concept called a "cover song" where a band plays a song by another band, sometimes trying to copy it exactly, sometimes playing the song in their own style, changing a lot of the feeling and theme of the song. 

In art, especially sculpture and painting, part of your training is copying the works of the masters, to learn how they did things, as well as to help develop your own sense of style as you start to do their works, but in your own artistic voice.

In film, its very common to create a copy of a scene from previous movies, setting up scenery and character placements the same as some famous scene, a sort of homage.

I've never heard of anything similar in writing.  I think it would be VERY interesting to, say, take a famous scene from a novel, and have a bunch of authors write the scene in their own style. Same characters, same plot, same main points made in dialogue.  I think doing so would be good for your ability as a writer, and seeing how other writers approach the same task would be interesting as well. 

Any thoughts?

Posted: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 6:25 PM
Joined: 3/11/2011
Posts: 6

I recall a similar exercise when I was in high school; everyone in my AP English class took the same scene from a Dickens novel (I have no idea which novel or which scene; my memory fails me there) and re-wrote it in our own style. It was a good exercise and helped us find our voice.

So yeah, I think your idea is a good one. Got any suggestions for a scene?
Danielle Bowers
Posted: Saturday, March 26, 2011 10:27 PM
Joined: 3/16/2011
Posts: 280

The birth scene from the fourth Twilight book? Just kidding
I like this exercise idea a lot better than the one I remember from one of my English classes in college...trying to describe how to get up/dressed/eat breakfast as if the person you are instructing has amnesia and doesn't know anything.
Alexander Hollins
Posted: Monday, March 28, 2011 6:34 PM
Joined: 3/13/2011
Posts: 416

The more I think about it, the more I want to play with doing it with different KINDS of scenes.

Like, I'd love to see the opening scene of Richard the III rewritten as prose rather than a play, and how people would take it. Make it an internal conversation? Have him be mad, and talking to himself? A journal?

But I think, If we are going to do this... Since the movie is upcoming, hows about Jane Eyre? http://books.google.com/books?id=JuA0AAAAMAAJ&dq=jane%20eyre&pg=PA158#vnepage&q&f=false

The scene where Jane meets Mr. Rochester for the first time, in this edition, page 158 through 164. Anyone have an interest in doing so? I might make a seperate thread for it, make it a contest.
Cassandra Stryffe
Posted: Thursday, March 31, 2011 6:47 PM
Joined: 3/30/2011
Posts: 10

I really like this idea. I'm going to play with it a bit on my own before I work up the nerve to submit anything here lol
Neeraj Bali
Posted: Friday, April 29, 2011 1:04 PM
Joined: 4/26/2011
Posts: 3

I think it is an interesting idea. Surely worth a try! Can some of us here collaborate on it? Any suggestions for the book and the part?
Christie Renzetti
Posted: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 5:18 PM
Joined: 4/26/2011
Posts: 7

I'm game

Point me to the thread!

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