Hampton Roads Writers

Expository Writing

Reread your own older work—-fiction, poetry, nonfiction, whatever. Find the ten most common words from this fiction (excluding small and uninteresting words).

Use these words as hidden titles for ten paragraphs of prose. By hidden, I mean that you should operate as in the above exercise, but after several rough drafts, eliminate the titles. Choosing these ten words is obviously going to be somewhat subjective, unless you have a program that allows you to do some of the work for you (for instance, you could pick a word that seems to occur commonly, then do a MS Word global search—the find icon under edit). This exercise may help you uncover the trends and unexpected subject matter of your fiction.


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