A Poetry-Inspired Writing Lesson from WritingFix

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Tillbury Town:
Why, Cory, Why?

creating a "Top Ten List" to explore
Richard Cory's motive


Student Writer Instructions:

No jokes here: Richard Cory's suicide--like all suicides--is a tragedy. As you assume the role of a TV producer today, and you think how to best rationalize the tragedy of Richard Cory, you are not allowed to turn this into a situation comedy. This poem leads to drama, not comedy.

Here's your writing role: You are a TV producer who has just gained the rights to tell Richard Cory's story in a two-hour, made-for-TV movie. Since no one knows why Richard put that bullet in his head, your job is to explore his possible motives. One of those motives will make the best made-for-TV movie plot.

Working with a partner, you need to create a list of ten motives that would inspire a great two-hour script about Richard Cory. You cannot stray from the information found in the poem; for example, Richard must be respected by the townspeople, and he must put a bullet in his had near the end of your movie.

Each item on your list must be a complete sentence. Each item on your list must contain a snazzy adjective or a powerful verb that would inspire a plot.

"Richard was sad" would be a terrible entry on your list, but "After believing for years that his deceased and wealthy father was a good man, Richard discovers that he earned his fortune at the expense of others' happiness" would make a fantastic and dramatic script.

Make all your entries like the second example sentence above, not the first.


Interactive Choices for Writing:

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What other character could drive Richard Cory's story?

If your class brainstorms other interesting other character ideas not included here, please e-mail them to us at webmaster@writingfix.com

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