One of my favorite writing lessons: Creating a “fake” advertisement. I always did it in conjunction with a story called, “No One is Going to Nashville.” (Stray dog shows up on a girl’s front doorstep, she falls in love with it, but her parents make her put an ad in the newspaper in an attempt to find its rightful owner.) I encouraged students to think of something they definitely would not want to get rid of, and then create an advertisement for it.
Here’s my example:
1976 Chevy Truck For Sale
This baby has a 350 four-barrel sitting under the hood. (No idea what that really means. I just know that it gets horrendous gas mileage.) The fake leather seats get blistering hot in the summer because there’s no air conditioner, and the AM radio DOES NOT work. It only has two-wheel drive, so if you have to drive on snowy/icy roads, the back end squirrels around like Rosco P. Coltrane in hot pursuit. (You’d be safer walking.) Gets stuck easily. Sometimes the horn works, sometimes it doesn’t. The box sits unevenly because of a missing leaf spring on one side. Burns oil and rides like an army tank. Serious inquires only.