The 3 A.M. Epiphany

Not only do I assign exercises from Brian Kiteley’s 3 A.M. Epiphany: Uncommon Writing Exercises That Transform Your Fiction for my high school students, but I work on them myself.

Below is a list of each exercise, complete with a link to my attempt.

Point of View

  • The Reluctant I
  • Imperative
  • Unreliable Third
  • The Unstable Self
  • Journalism
  • The Royal We
  • Family Consciousness
  • Third to First
  • Historical Omniscience
  • The Ironist
  • The Cheerful Spectator
  • An Execution
  • God

Images

  • No Ideas, But in Things
  • Two Images Separated at Birth
  • Two Paintings
  • Synesthesia
  • TV
  • Canned Film
  • Colors
  • Clothes
  • Alarm Clock Dream
  • The Closet

Characters and Ways of Seeing

  • Ways of Seeing
  • Names
  • Exes
  • Loveless
  • Loving
  • Evil
  • Absent
  • Intelligence
  • Friendship
  • Goodness
  • Chaos Follows
  • Wilderness
  • Beyond Words
  • Face Recognition
  • Sentenced to Death
  • Letters From Inside the Story
  • Doubling Up
  • You Oxymoron

Women and Men

  • Invisible Woman
  • Control
  • The Argument
  • Food Fight
  • Intimacy
  • Smart Pets
  • Cooking
  • Binary Oppositions

Children and Childhood

  • Early Language
  • Associative Logic
  • What Maisie Knew
  • Cruelty
  • Child’s Play
  • Shy
  • Looking Backwards
  • Wrong Hall
  • Bedtime Story

Coversation

  • Silent Partner
  • Body English
  • Character Building
  • The First Lie
  • Phone Tag
  • Finishing Each Other’s Sentences
  • Indirect Discourse
  • Reconstituted Talk
  • Travesty
  • Interrogation

Thought and Emotion

  • Consciousness Slowed
  • Universal Freedom
  • Needs
  • Wants
  • Improvisation
  • True Feelings
  • Teacher
  • Witness Protection
  • Deathbed Conversions
  • Style
  • Mistaken Identity
  • Sleight of Hand
  • The Bunny Planet
  • Ignoble Subjects

Biography and Autobiography

  • Public vs. Private
  • Fact and Fancy
  • Talismans
  • Interview
  • Research
  • Life of the Party
  • Biography
  • Funhouse Mirror
  • Leaving Out
  • Father and Son
  • Mother and Daughter

Time

  • Life Story
  • Summary
  • One Moment
  • Deja Vu
  • The Gap
  • Rashomon
  • Landscape and Time
  • Ghosts
  • A Happy Marriage

History

  • The Day After
  • What If
  • Revisionist History
  • Found History
  • Shoeshine
  • Cencorship

Description

  • Sweet and Sour
  • Home
  • The City
  • In the Belly of the Beast
  • Aromatherapy
  • Maps
  • Public Space vs. Private Space
  • Walking
  • Versimilitude
  • Jeremiad

Sentences–Butting Up Against Each Other

  • Chapters
  • Underground History
  • E-Less
  • The Music of Prose
  • Listful
  • Russian Doll in Reverse
  • Backwards
  • Pantoum
  • Villanelle
  • Concrete Abstractions
  • Monotony
  • Repetition
  • Economy
  • Phone Book

Other People’s Sentences

  • Logical Structure
  • Poetry
  • Collage
  • Beginnings
  • Ends
  • Middles
  • Jointly Held Story
  • The Bridge
  • Between the Lines
  • French
  • DeLillo
  • 100 Most Common Words
  • Living Flesh
  • Embedded Stories

Play and Games

  • Rules of the Game
  • Vertigo
  • Different Strokes
  • Mimicry
  • Dice
  • Fantasy
  • War

Sports

  • The Team
  • Life or Death
  • Individual
  • The Seduction of Analogies

Work

  • The Language of Work
  • Teamwork
  • Gravediggers
  • Loafing
  • Fight Choreographer

Humor

  • Stand-Up
  • The Wit and the Pendulum
  • The Joke
  • Incongruity
  • Serious Slapstick
  • Unintended Humor
  • Misdirection

Travel

  • Arrivals
  • Departures
  • Digressions
  • Notebook
  • Barbarians
  • Life As Text
  • Imaginary Travel
  • Imaginary Cities
  • Inside Jokes
  • Perpetual Return
  • Landscapes
  • The Double
  • Goodnight, Colorado

Internal Structure

  • A Maze
  • An Iceburg
  • Two Parallel Lines
  • A Circle
  • The Infinity Symbol

Exercises for Stories in Progress

  • Outrunning the Critic
  • Sensory Details
  • Rehearsal
  • Surprise
  • Postcards to France
  • Caught on Tape
  • E-Mail
  • Embracing the Mystery
  • Character Develops With Revision
  • Beyond Your Preconceptions
  • Q and A
  • Fill in the Blank