Short-Story-Writing-Exercises-old

Group: Short Story Writing Exercises - old

Thinking about thinking.

My English professor gave us a challenge this week in class. He introduced the term 'metacognition' to us. Writing is thinking about thinking. An awareness or analysis of one's own learning or thinking process. So I want to see how you all respond to this. In the beginning I thought it was going to be simple but when we had to respond to our own writing, I had no idea what to do. Once you get the hang of it, it seems to just flow. I'm sure many of you have done this at one point in your life.

Here's the exercise: recall a person- a teacher, a classmate, a family member, a published writer, or someone else- who influenced your writing, for good or ill. How was your writing affected?

Now in the first paragraph, I want you to answer the questions. In the second paragraph, I want you to think about what you wrote in the first paragraph and write it down. Remember, you are not editing your writing so stay away from that.

There will be another exercise like this tomorrow too.


Daniela Bustamante

1st March 2013


I'll go first.

Part 1:
I would definitely have to say that my mom influenced my writing. When I was little, I used to do a lot of fiction creative writing; I even won awards for my stories, but after all the praise cooled down, I stopped writing. When I was 11, my mother passed away. I turned to writing as an escape; as my way of grieving. I wrote about her in positive and negative ways. My writing quickly transitioned from childish fiction to the unbearing truths of non- fiction. Her being gone has definitely put me through some life struggles that become great stories.

Part 2:
Seeing how something so drastic changed my writing is shocking. Writing was never my escape route and one day I just decided it was. My writing has become a bit dark and gloomy but I assume it has to do with the loss. Even my fiction writing is a bit scary, mainly writing murder stories. It's a domino effect, whatever happens in my life affects my writing. I feel that it's the only thing I can write that will actually be good enough to pressent to my audience.


Daniela Bustamante

1st March 2013


Life fascinated me. People were like a puzzle I wanted to solve. I had so many thoughts that made no sense until I sat down one day and wrote about it. As the stories started coming, my thoughts became organised. The more I study people and life, the better my subject matter becomes. I become more expressive with each passing day because in studying others and trying to understand what makes them tick, I find out something new about me!

Studying people effected my writing in both a positive and negative way. Sometimes, I see some naked truth that I long to write about but then when I think of all the lives that will be adversely effected if I went public with it, I stop in my tracks and revise what I wrote. If I was writing about me, I could put out anything I liked but if I am writing about a third person, tailoring my words around their reality, I have to keep a lid on a lot of emotions since I can't even turn to fiction to express them for the fear of harming others connected to them. The flip side of writing about others is the responsibility you have to shoulder in portraying them correctly.


Asma Ahsan

2nd March 2013


I was just thinking about thinking.

I care for elderly people with dementia.

Did they just stop thinking and did they notice it starting to change.

I think all day perhaps too much. It makes me the person I am-I think!

What would I be living a different lifestyle in work,relationship,home,health and how would that shift affect my thinking.

Am I and will I always be this type of thinker I wonder???????????????????


John Ramsbottom

2nd March 2013


Asma and John very good... a bit off the guidelines for John but good.

Asma, I like where your writing comes from. You are good!

John, that still has me thinking! I think they slowly started to to notice the change but then again who knows!


Daniela Bustamante

5th March 2013


When I look back and consider who has influenced my life, I realize that my grandparents, all 4 of them are the ones that I give credit to. In studying them, I think I've found what brings true happiness. Their stories were often insignificant but they revealed the depths of their souls in the way they told their stories. I was always interested to know where they found value in their lives. It always came down to love, human nature, a touch, a smile, a warm embrace and laughter. Those were the sweetest memories that they held dear to them throughout their years. When you listened intently to their words, love sprang from them. The twinkle in their eyes, the laughter and smiles it brought to just recount their stories to me. It was the song in their hearts. I only have one Grandmother still living. She is 95 and she is still a whirlwind of activity. Nothing slows her down. I hope that I have that spirit in me.

Wow. It is amazing to me in reading my own words, the emotion that sprang forth from within me. I have always felt a closeness to the aged. They are nearing the end of their life cycle. They have had the time to consider their wrongs and their good deeds. Their wisdom is endless. I have nothing but respect for the elderly.


Cindy Beitinger

6th March 2013


Cindy - you are as SOFTIE - admit it. :)


Asma Ahsan

8th March 2013


Yes I am. I always have been. :)


Cindy Beitinger

8th March 2013


I thought that my writing was my thinking about thinking. It seems within the guidelines.


John Ramsbottom

9th March 2013


Cindy, loved it! Very good. I always thhink people who were around their grandparents were very lucky. I never met any of my grandpas. I now only have one grandma left and I haven't talked to her in 9 years. This year will be my first time seeing her in those 9 years. I think it's very sweet that you looked up to them.

John, Well I meant that it wasn't in paragraph form.


Daniela Bustamante

9th March 2013


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