U2 More Writing Practice

Use the exercises below to practice writing your own scenes, acts, or plays. 

Exercise 2.53

Part A

Work with a partner to write two scenes that would follow each other in a play. Use the prompts to guide you as your write.

Scene 1: A group of three friends is going shopping when one of them realizes that he or she has lost his or her wallet

Scene 2: A young, overly enthusiastic mall or store security guard is walking around in a different area of the mall or store when he sees a stranger pick up a wallet that is obviously not his or hers. 

Part B

When you are done writing, do evaluate your writing and give self-feedback. Use the directions below to evaluate your writing and give feedback.

1. Read scene 1 to yourself. Consider the following questions as you read:

  • Are the characters and the setting clear?
  • What is the problem the characters encounter?
  • If there is dialogue, does it sound like natural speech?

2. Read scene 2 to yourself. Consider the following questions as you read:

  • Are the characters and the setting clear?
  • Do the characters succeed or fail to overcome the problem?
  • If there is dialogue, does it sound like natural speech?

3. Read Scene 1 and Scene 2 with your partner. Discuss what you think works well in the scenes and what needs to change. 

4. Write four feedback comments about the two scenes. Two comments should be about strengths to keep in the writing, and two comments should be about weaknesses that you can improve in the writing. 

(strength to keep)         ____________________________________________________

(strength to keep)         ____________________________________________________

(weakness to improve) ____________________________________________________

(weakness to improve) ____________________________________________________

Exercise 2.54

Work with a group of 3-6 classmates to make a one-act play. Each member of the group should write a scene for the play. Then, work with the group to revise the scenes to fit together well. An outline has been given to help you plan what will happen in the play. 

Scene 1Introduce the characters and setting. Introduce the problem the characters face. 



Scene 2Have the characters try to solve the problem unsuccessfully. They shouldn't be able to solve it right away. There should be a challenge, misunderstanding, mistake, or obstacle that stops them. 



Scene 3End the story. Have the characters either solve the problem (to write a comedy) or have the characters fail to solve the problem but learn something from it (a tragedy). 



Exercise 2.55

Read the summary of a tragedy below. Then, change it from a tragedy into a comedy. Rewrite the ending scene to have a happy ending instead. Your scene should be 1-2 pages long. 


Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare is a famous tragedy. The play begins with two young people, Romeo and Juliet, from families that are feuding. Romeo and Juliet fall in love, but can't be together because of their families. Many things happen and Romeo has to run away. Juliet fakes her death, so she can join him. However, Romeo finds Juliet and thinks she has died for real, so he kills himself. Juliet wakes up and finds Romeo dead, and kills herself. Both Romeo and Juliet are dead, and their families mourn them. Because of the tragedy, the families realize they should stop feuding and instead make peace with each other. 

Language Note:

feuding: do not get along; fighting

Exercise 2.56

Part A

Write a comedic scene about one of the following topics:

  • a child is born
  • two friends reunite
  • a fight scene goes wrong
  • a person has a bad day or an unlucky day
  • a wedding
  • a day at school
  • a trip to a new place
  • a misunderstanding between strangers

Part B

When you are finished writing your scene share it with a partner or a group of your classmates. When you read your play aloud, try reading in different voices for each character or with exaggerated emotion. 

Exercise 2.57

Part A

The following is a list of tragic endings to plays. These tragic endings create strong--usually negative--emotions in the audience.

What could provide catharsis for each of these situations? Write 1-2 sentences to describe how you could end each play and give relief to the audience. 

1. a king loses his kingdom because he was too proud to ask for help


2. a student works hard on a final project for class all semester long only to lose it right before turning it in


3. a hero fails to save a kingdom from a dragon because he or she lost the magical item to fight it


4. A person loses a race because they were too impatient


5. Man A and Woman B love each other, but Woman B marries Man C to provide for her family or for family honor. 


Part B

Choose one of the tragic endings and catharsis ideas you brainstormed above. Write a scene that includes the tragic ending and the resolution that provides catharsis. 

Exercise 2.58

Write a scene about one of the following topics. Your scene can either be comedic or tragic. It should include at least 1 character and have a clear setting. 

Topic Lists

  • a holiday
  • video games
  • farm life
  • fight
  • doctor's appointment
  • groceries
  • love
  • perseverance
  • success
  • laziness
  • honesty
  • leadership

Exercise 2.59

Use 3 of the following literary devices in a short scene in a play set at your school.

  • hyperbole
  • euphemism
  • diction
  • oxymoron
  • alliteration

Exercise 2.60

Part A

Write a short scene with at least two characters. One character is very formal, and one character is very informal. Use the appropriate grammar for each grammar as you write what the characters will say in the scene. 

Part B

Type your short scene on a computer. Use a grammar checker such as Word Processor's grammar checker or Grammarly to review your scene. Computer programs are not perfect, so you will need to decide if the grammar checker's suggestions are really correct. Consider each suggestion and edit the scene where you need to. 

Exercise 2.61

Part A

Write a short opening scene for a play. Use at least one literary device in your scene. Use informal or formal grammar purposefully in your scene. Your scene should be about 1 page. 

Part B

 Use the questions below to reflect on your thinking. Write the answers to the questions as complete sentences. 

1. How did you use the writing process when creating the scene for part A. 

2. Which parts of the writing process did you find more difficult?

3. Which parts of the writing process did you find easier?

4. Which of the strategies that you used while writing was the most effective and efficient for you?

5. Is there anything you would change about how you approach writing plays based on your answers to questions 1-4?

Note about Transferability:

Skills used for one thing may also be used for another thing. Consider the questions below:

  • Has the experience in this exercise highlighted any skills that you could use in other types of writing?
  • How could that skill or those skills be useful in other types of writing?

Try using that skill or those skills in other types of writing. 

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