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Workshop

We'll dispense with the usual Q&A for this hour. However, some exercises may be in order.

Exercises

1:Scriptwriter Stephen Black's dad fostered his writing from very early on. One exercise he asked his son to do while they were working on a novel together was to sit down during a large family gathering and invent characters for the novel using the characteristics of the gathered guests as his inspiration. It worked for Black. It's also a great way for you to avoid the usual idle family chitchat.
2:Take a local newspaper story about an event or breaking news. Read it aloud with an ear for passive-voice phrases, such as “She was hit by a speeding car,” “The house was destroyed by the blaze,” and “The budget was presented by the Governor.” Rewrite the story in active voice.
3:Contact a local TV station or production company and get permission to tag along during a remote, multicamera taping. They might let you help set up (it's called “gaffer's tape” not “duct tape”) and sit in the control room. That will be an eye-opening and educational experience.


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