Writing Fiction: Theme of Secrets “Excerpt”

Your task was to eavesdrop on others and write down FIVE (or more) “overheard sentences.” You did not know the context, and now you are trying to figure out what he/she meant… you suspect a secret. Imagine the secret, the plot, the consequences. Then, you must tell the story. At least part of it. Choose a point of the story to tell: the beginning, the middle or the end. Your goal is 1 page single spaced (landscaped and two columns ~ about 600 words minimum) that incorporates one of your overheard statements into a gripping narrative that includes a secret.

  • Select ONE (or more) of your overheard
  • Create a character. Decide whether you want a 1st person or 3rd person narrator.
  • Show the place. Readers need to know where they are. Provide details of the place throughout the narrative.
  • At any point, we should know what the conflict is. What does he or she or it want and why is that not attainable,
  • Use dialogue. You are writing in prose style, so use proper formatting. New paragraph, new speaker. Show who is speaking and what he/she is doing. Indent all paragraphs. DO NOT USE PLAY FORMAT.
  • Use sensory imagery: paint pictures for your reader. What do we see? Hear? Smell? Touch? Taste?
  • Select language to create tension. Word choice matters! Consider how to use words to foreshadow…
  • Proofread. Watch your tenses. Punctuation is important and can save lives.

    Not pleased with any of your overheards? Bummer. Here are random sentences taken from the works we will be reading. You may use one or more and be on the lookout for it throughout the semester!

  • “I want arsenic.”
  • “Because poor Daddy is tired.”
  • “I’m going to marry you.”
  • “Maybe they put you in by mistake.”
  • “Rocks and sticks came flying at me, empty Cracker Jack boxes, anything.”
  • “His anger, like a poison, was out of his blood.”
  • “I will screech and laugh loud. I will run on the walls. Last I will hang head down by all my legs and laugh and drip green all over until they are sorry they didn’t be nice to me.”
  • “Ah, so it all came true. It’s so clear now. Oh, light, let me look at you one final time, I who stand ...cursed by my birth, cursed by my own family…”
  • “I admit the deed!”
  • “It’s the moon’s fault, and the blood.”