Chapter 5 - sample writing

Read Sandra Cisnero’s short story ‘Eleven’.

Eleven by Sandra Cisneros.pdf

Thinking about all we’ve learned so far, spend some time thinking about the following questions. Maybe re-read the story, and jot down anything you think might be useful for your own writing.

  1. Do you think Rachel is an interesting character? Do you think she’s realistic? Why or why not?
  2. What does Rachel want? What actions does she take and what conflicts occur? Does she get what she wants in the end?
  3. Does Rachel have a unique, believable voice?
  4. Do you find Rachel relatable? Do you find her likable?
  5. If you were to rewrite Sandra Cisnero’s story, what would you do differently, if anything?

Exercise #1

Having read Sandra Cisnero’s story, try writing a complete short story of your own. Use hers as an inspiration, if you like. Her story is a little over 1,000 words, but write yours to whatever length feels right. Following that magic formula from Module 1, try and see if you can show us early on what your character’s desire is, have the character take an action to achieve it, and let some conflict get in the way. Use any inspiration you came up with in the exercises so far, or write something completely new. Take as long as you need – this section can be ‘homework’, if you like.