“The Day After” Writing Exercise


Directions: (to be completed in your class journal)

Imagine a moment just after some major historical event. Use ordinary people, not the Napoleons or Obamas. This may demand brief research on your devices. Don’t be afraid. It may be that these people have no idea what has just happened. (i.e., The hostess in a restaurant in Philadelphia in 1777 has no idea the Articles of Confederation have just been ratified down the street. He serves the signers a warm meal).

(Minor revisions to make assignment appropriate for a classroom setting. Brian Kiteley. The 3 A.M. Epiphany: Uncommon Writing Exercises That Transform Your Fiction. 105-106. Cincinnati, OH. 2005)


  1. Date your journal entry.

  2. Plan. Brainstorm your ideas before writing.

  3. Come up with a creative title.

  4. Specificity (use specific details to enhance your writing)

  5. Vocabulary (utilize the words learned throughout high school career)

  6. Writing Techniques (i.e., incorporate figurative language, sensory details, imagery, tone)

Length: at least three (3) paragraphs

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