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Writing 101: Dark Clouds on the (Virtual) Horizon

Today, write a post with roots in a real-world conversation. For a twist, include foreshadowing.

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Write a post inspired by a real-world conversation.

We don’t write in a bubble — we write in the world, and what we say is influenced by our experiences. Today, take a cue from something you’ve overheard and write a post inspired by a real-life conversation. Revisit a time when you wish you’d spoken up, reminisce about an important conversation that will always stick with you, or tune in to a conversation happening around you right now and write your reaction. Take time to listen — to what you hear around you, or what your memories stir up.

I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.

– Ernest Hemingway

Today’s twist: include an element of foreshadowing in the beginning of your post.

At its most basic, foreshadowing gives readers a roadmap to what will happen later in your post — a subtle detail planted in the back of a reader’s mind, like a telling piece of dialogue or a strategic mention of an object that hints at what’s to come. When an author tells us there are dark clouds on the horizon, we know something negative will happen soon.

This doesn’t mean your post has to have a Shocking! Twist! à la The Usual Suspects or Shirley Jackson’s classic short story, “The Lottery.” It just means you’ll give readers some clues as you go — a sense of what will happen next, information that might be important later, or a detail that you’ll explain in your conclusion.

We’re ready to go wherever you want to lead us.

Ready to share? Give us a clue that draws us to your post on The Commons.

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  1. Still writing, but here’s my lead…(hope this doesn’t break the rules, Michelle)

    The self-anointed most important woman in the grocery store was leaving quite a wake of emotional and physical destruction, plowing through the aisles as if she were being timed and her life depended on breaking the world record.

    Liked by 3 people