Elements of the Writing Craft. Part Two: Character, Lesson Forty-Two: Characters in a Fight

Ref: Pages 52 and 53 of the text by Robert Olmstead.

  1. Imagine that rare encounter in which two people might come to blows. Who would it be? List five such pairs.
    Inmates in a cell.
    Sailors on a ship.
    Bandits after a heist.
    Scouts of opposing armies.
    Champions electing one vs. one combat in lieu of clashing armies.
  2. The challenge in this exercise is to lengthen your sentence. Make it read more slowly than the action it conveys, so as not to lose your characters. Note the commas and conjunctions, the qualifying of each and every action to slow the pace. Now pick one of your five combinations from exercise one and write a paragraph.

Duffy plants her rear foot, leans back, and coils her lead leg into her hip. A thrust of her heel folds the man in half. He makes no sound but gulps for air like a landed fish.

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