Recently in my writing class, my professor gave us an assignment to write a piece of fiction that was at least 500 words long. No guidelines, no specific criteria, just a story. Seeing as I want to write books as a profession when I’m older, this seemed like the perfect assignment for me. We were instructed to come to class with an idea for a story and nothing else.
We were then randomly paired up with another person in our class, and told to explain the story we were thinking of doing to the other person. Then, we were given pieces of paper with boxes drawn on, almost like comic book panels. Our professor instructed us to draw the other persons story as we saw it in our minds, and to be specific about certain parts of the plot and other aspects of the story. We spent a couple minutes doing that, and then showed the other person what we had drawn and our ideas about the plot and characters and things like that.
I found this creative collaboration to be very helpful. It seems to me that the people who write the story sometimes don’t realize the parts of their story that don’t work or needs to be explained more fully. Because it is something from their mind, they understand it perfectly, and can sometimes automatically assume that others will understand it just as well. This exercise allowed me to see my story from another point of view. It helped me to see which parts of my story needed to be developed more and which parts could be confusing for an outsider to read and which parts just don’t make any sense. It was really a helpful exercise and I would recommend it to any writers out there.