Monday, September 6, 2010

Writer's Weights: Allusion Challenge (WW1)

T.S. Bazelli wrote on focused learning and applying this to writing and then she applied it through fifteen exercises, or author aerobics, that she completed. She also had several other writers join her on these weekly challenges. Her author aerobics are currently on hiatus as she works on a serial story. I have decided to embark on my own focused learning while I wait for the author aerobics to resume. You are welcome to join me. Answers to the challenge will be posted on Friday.

Allusion Challenge

I'm starting with an easier, at least for me, exercise assuming that when starting an exercise program it is best to start with some easy weights so you don't overexert yourself and cause an injury. I like using allusion, a lot. However, the more I research this, the more I am uncertain whether this will be an easy exercise.

An allusion refers to another work. An example of an allusion:

One should be careful when crafting allusions so that one does not fly too high by creating an allusion to a character or work unknown by many of the readers or fly too low by creating an allusion that is cliché.

As many people may have realized this refers to Icarus's flight to add depth to the sentence. This used a concept but, allusions may also refer to the character or situation such as referring to a penny-pitching character as a Scrooge. The complexity of allusion is to hit the sweet spot where it refers to another work in a fresh way that lends more to the work that was written.

I tend to use all lot of allusion in my writing, but I tend to use very obscure references that many of my readers may not catch. Allusions can make your writing feel richer; however, there should be a balanced so that not all of them cryptic and serve only to muddy the passages.

The challenge: write a scene of 1000 words or less with one or more allusions. The theme: wheel.

Further reading:

This week's Writer's Weights participants:


  1. Great to see you picking up the exercises! Is there a time limit on this?

  2. Ah, yes, I should point out that answers will be posted on Friday. Thanks, for catching that.

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  4. Hi Aidan,

    Sorry about the dual comments, I'm having a little trouble with the ID field.

    I'm keen to join you in your exercises. Here's my attempt at this week's challenge.

    I gave myself an hour to write something and think I succeeded with a few allusions but didn't quite manage to complete my scene.

  5. Hi Belinda, I'm glad you joined me on the exercises. It is more fun to work on these with people.

  6. That's cool that you're picking this up. It's too bad I've had to cut back on my posting... this is a good challenge.

  7. Stephen, I understand and hope everything goes well with you and if you have a "light" week, you will always be welcome to join in.