Elements of the Writing Craft. Part One: Storytelling, Lesson Sixteen: Conflict

Ref: Pages 22 and 23 of the text by Robert Olmstead

  1. Make two lists, one for phrases similar to “I used to imagine…” and a second list for phrases similar to “…but the truth of the matter.” Do five phrases for each.

I used to think… but I came to realize…
There was a time where I… but I’ve changed since then…
When I was young I used to… but I’m older now…
Once upon a time, I believed… that all changed when…
I used to feel… but I learned that

  1. Try several sentences like the example. Use the frame: I used to imagine it wasn’t ( ) but ( ).

I used to think I was special but, I came to realize that’s just another word for abnormal.
There was a time where I would wake up screaming, but I’ve changed since then.
When I was young, I used to believe I would change the world, but I’m older now.
Once upon a time, I believed my visions were a gift but, that all changed when I first saw the hag.
I used to feel my affliction meant I was chosen for something, but I learned sometimes people aren’t special, just unlucky.

  1. Select one of the first sentences and now make your second sentence move. Use the frame: I used to imagine it wasn’t ( ) but ( ), but the truth was ( )

I used to imagine it wasn’t malice that drove my mother into her rages but illness, but the truth was the cause was unimportant. She reveled in her madness. If there were a remedy, she would have refused it. So the rest of us just had to learn to cope with it and keep in mind the good times.

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