Our intensive summer workshop starts tomorrow, and is fully booked. There are a number of people who wanted places but couldn’t get on the course this year, so I thought it would be a good idea this week to put a few of the exercises on this blog so others can join in.
This year we are running the course around objects and how they are used in fiction. Objects can act as a plot device – Hitchcock famously coined the term a ‘MacGuffin’ for that object everyone wants but not all can have – and objects can also acts as clues or foreshadow things that happen later. They can be used as a way of revealing character (what objects does your character carry in their bag/keep in their house/ collect/treasure?); as a symbol or metaphor; as a trigger for memories.
Just to get started, go around your house and find two or three interesting, unusual objects. Or pick objects from this selection here.
Describe each of these in turn. If you’re writing a story, think about which character might own this object, where it came from, what they feel about it. Write about a memory the character has which each object triggers.
Then write a short piece which links all three objects.