Group Work Activity

Sharing ideas for playing with time

This group activity asks you to think more deeply on playing with time in narrative fiction, look closely at some examples, and discuss the various techniques and methods that come to light as a result of this exercise. Here's what I want you to do:

  1. Find an excerpt from a published story that you thought was a real drag, literally: a slow, ponderous, elephantine blob of a thing, no matter how famous it is, how "great" other people think it is. Rewrite a small part of it to make it move in a way you'd prefer.
  2. Share an excerpt from the original and then an excerpt from your revised version with those in your group. Explain what you did to make it move differently, and then offer a few specific ideas of ways in which to "play with time" as you write.
  3. Respond to one another and discuss for a bit in your small groups and benefit from each other's ideas.