Today’s prompt is adapted from one of the most popular segments of the Warm Up Writing Course that I run here as an online course (and a home-study version).
Write A Copycat Story, based on one of your favorite short stories by another writer
- Take a story by a writer you really, really admire — preferably a short short story that won’t take for ever to reproduce. Analyze it in minute detail: from word choice to sentence length. Now, choose a different setting and different characters with different dreams from that of the originals, and write a copycat story, following the exact structure and tone of the original.
- During the Renaissance — the great flowering of European art and culture during the 16th and 17th centuries — great artists and artisans enrolled apprentices to train with them. The apprentices learned the principles of their craft not by creating their own unique works but by painstakingly copying the works and style of their masters. Why shouldn’t we try the same thing?
- Don’t attempt to get any of our trainee copycat work published. That’s a plagiarism scandal just waiting to erupt!.
(If you want more details about this, and examples to follow, try the Warm Up Writing Course (home study version), the work-at-your-own pace version of the popular online course I run periodically here at the site.)