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Writing Exercise: The War Council (Historical - 1300)

A medieval king in a torch-lit war council room, surrounded by his advisors and generals. The large wooden table is covered with ancient maps and documents. The king looks serious and his advisors appear tense, deep in discussion.


Introduction to the exercise and its purpose:

Part of a series of exercises to perfect the “Show, Don't Tell” technique in various literary genres, this exercise focuses on the historical genre, with the goal of showing political and military tension through the actions and interactions of the characters.


In the heart of the Middle Ages, a king summons his advisors and generals to discuss a strategy for war. The room is lit by flashlights and candles, with ancient maps scattered on the large wooden table.

Writing exercise:

Describe the war council, focusing on the dynamics between the characters and the tension of the meeting. Show the urgency and gravity of the situation without making them explicit.

Tips and development of the exercise:

Begin with a detailed description of the council chamber, with flashlights casting dancing shadows and the crackling fire in the fireplace. Show how the king carefully observes his advisors, his face marked with concern. Describe the generals' tense expressions, nervous movements and animated discussions. Illustrate gestures, such as fists pounding on the table or cold glances cast between those present. End with a crucial moment of decision, such as the king raising a hand to impose silence and make an important announcement.


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