Let the Crazy Child Write – 1

Table of Contents



  • The Crazy Child
  • The Crazy Child’s Goal
  • Crazy Child, Writer, Editor
  • All You Need Is the Urge to Write
  • HOW TO USE THIS BOOK: Discussion; Exercise; Workshop; Practice; Work Hard and Have Fun

Chapter One: Image Detail

  • How Image Detail Works
  • Powerful Image Details
  • Images Other Than Pictures
  • Repeated Image Detail
  • Image Detail in Stories
  • Imaginary Image Detail
  • Image Detail in Poems
  • Image Detail in Plays
  • Image Detail in Essays
  • Image Detail and the Crazy Child
  • ExerciseInterview; Truth or Fiction; Writing Your Notes
  • Workshop The Syngenetic Workshop; Read Out Loud and Take Notes; The Author’s Job; The Listener’s Job
  • Practice New Journalism; Alternatives


Chapter Two: Slow Motion Kinetic Detail

  • Slow Motion in Stories
  • Slow Motion in Poems
  • Slow Motion in Plays
  • Slow Motion in Essays
  • Reading Is a Physical Process
  • Writing Is a Physical Process
  • Slow Motion and the Crazy Child
  • Exercise Accurate to the Split Second; Slow Motion and Journalism
  • Workshop Suggestions for rewriting; Who Is Correct?

Chapter Three: Hook

  • Crazy Child Hooks
  • Plot and the Hook
  • Hooks in Stories
  • Hooks in Poems
  • Slow Hooks
  • Hooks in Plays
  • Hooks in Essays
  • Exercise Germs; Silly Hooks; Expanding the Germs
  • Workshop Something Extra; Listen for Hooks; Clunky Suggestions
  • Practice Beginning the Action; Alternative; Not Knowing Where You Are Going

Chapter Four: Persona Writing

  • Persona and the Author
  • Persona in Stories
  • Talent and Persona
  • Persona in Poems
  • Persona in Essays
  • Persona in Plays
  • Persona and the Crazy Child
  • Exercise Taking-Off Points; Getting Unstuck; Crazy Child and the Body; Crazy Child Writing Promotes Good Health; Awful- Feeling Crazy Child Writing
  • Workshop Doors
  • Practice Alternative; Listen to the Darkness; Find a Door; Crazy Child and Political Correctness

Chapter Five: Point of View

  • Persona and Point of View
  • Crazy Child and Point of View
  • First-Person Point of View
  • Third-Person Point of View
  • Omniscient Point of View
  • Shifting Third-Person Point of View
  • Point of View in Poems
  • Point of View in Essays; Point of View in Plays
  • Exercise Camera-on- the-Shoulder; Crazy Child Options
  • Workshop Apple
  • Practice Point of View and Consistency; Alternatives

Chapter Six: Dialogue

  • Definitions of Dialogue
  • Dialogue and the Crazy Child
  • Dialogue and Communication
  • Stairwell Wit; Dialogue in Stories
  • Dialogue in Poems; Dialogue in Plays
  • Dialogue and Miscommunication
  • Dialogue in Essays
  • Framing Dialogue
  • Precision in Dialogue;
  • Exercise Dialects and Accents; Dialogue and Listening
  • Workshop Listening to Point of View; Listening to Dialogue; The Weaver and the Weaving
  • Practice Point of View and Dialogue; Choosing a Point of View; Write Different Stances

Chapter Seven: Plot

  • Hook, Issue, Resolution
  • Plot and the Crazy Child
  • Plot as Obstacles
  • What Is the Issue?
  • Plot in One Sentence
  • Plot in Poems
  • Plot in Plays
  • Plot in Essays
  • Plot as Magnet
  • Exercise Plot Germs
  • Workshop Listening to Plot Germs; Listening to Dialogue Again; What Does It Need?; Mini-Beats; Check with the Author
  • Practice Missing Valuables; Image Detail, Slow Motion, Persona, Point of View, Dialogue; Follow the Magnet

Chapter Eight: Narrative Presence

  • Persona, Point of View, Narrative Presence
  • Attitude
  • Steeped in the Narrator’s Mind
  • Crazy Child and Narrative Presence
  • Distancing
  • Distancing and the Surface
  • Narrative Presence in Poems
  • Narrative Presence in Plays; Narrative Presence in Essays
  • Voice and Stride
  • Exercise Twelve-Sentence Childhoods; Hidden Connotation
  • Workshop Listening to Plot Again; What Is the Piece About? Presenting Options; Let the Author Speak;
  • Practice First Rewrite

Chapter NineGood Cliches

  • Cliches and the Crazy Child
  • Going into Cliches
  • Twisting Cliches
  • Gushing Cliches
  • Cliches and “Like”
  • Cliches in Plays
  • Cliches in Essays
  • Have No Fear
  • Cliches and the Editor and the Writer
  • Exercise Crazy Child, Writer, Editor; Write the Next Word; Gushing Cliches and Twisting Cliches; Trail of Cliches
  • Workshop Workshopping the Rewrite; Baby Steps
  • Practice Anger and the Crazy Child; Amping the Attitude and Pushing the Envelope

Chapter Ten: Character

  • A Few Traits Convey Character
  • Character and Belief
  • Character, Point of View, Narrative Presence, Persona
  • Character and the Crazy Child
  • Character and Action
  • Character and Internal Dialogue
  • Character and Image Detail
  • Character and Quirks
  • Character in Plays
  • Character in Poems and Essays
  • Steeped in Character
  • Exercise Character Before and After; Get Wild
  • Workshop Unpleasant Characters; The Complete Crazy Child Exercise; Give More
  • Practice Dreaming into Character; Character and Personal Issues; Mix and Match

Chapter Eleven: Surrealism

  • Surrealism and the Crazy Child
  • Surrealism and Imagining
  • Surrealism and a Different Universe
  • Bold Surrealism; Surrealism and Emotion
  • Surrealism in Essays
  • Surrealism in Plays
  • Locating the Surreal
  • Exercise Dream Logic; An Object Becomes Surreal; Crazy Child as Big
  • Workshop Apple Again; Real Time; Bracketing
  • Practice Synchronicity; Editor, Writer, Crazy Child; Synchronicity in Progress

Chapter Twelve: Resolution

  • Surface and Undercurrent
  • Crazy Child and Resolution
  • Resolution in Poems
  • Resolution in Stories
  • Resolution in Plays
  • Resolution in Essays
  • Premodern, Modern, Postmodern Resolutions
  • Steeped in the Issue
  • Exercise Freeze-Frame; Editor, Writer, Crazy Child Confrontation
  • Workshop Say Just Enough; Bring the Issue Into the Foreground; The Rake; Move the Target to Hit the Arrow; Nitpicky Remarks
  • Practice Writing in Reverse; Five Steps of Creation; Poetic License; Continuing Your Writing