Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Write On Wednesday #17 - Choose your own Adventure

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Write On Wednesdays Exercise 17: This week, we are going with Karen's idea for an open choice week. So take a look at the old writing exercises (you can find them listed in my sidebar: WoW Writing Exercises), find one you'd like to try (or retry!) and link it up to the linky below. Short and simple instructions this week. If time is an issue perhaps you would like to try one of the 5 minute stream of consciousness exercises.

Shaking the water droplets from her worn brown coat. She slung it over the chair aside the front door and entered the small cabin. The scent of freshly baked bread incensed her nasal passage and her belly growled in response, it had been a long time between meals. She wasn’t yet home, but this was as far as she could go for one night. Far better than pushing herself higher up into the mountain only to be welcomed by a cold and empty cabin.

Shoulders slumped forward, body aching from the travel she had endured, she forced her legs to cross the few remaining steps before sinking into the hard wooden bench of the long table filling the middle of the nearly bare room.

At the sink peeling potatoes, her sister Abigail glanced up, taking in the pale complexion and deep black bags under her eyes she murmured “Guessing you’ll be stayin’ the night with us love?”

Tears threatening to spill over, she could do no more than nod her head.

“Reckon we’ll need a few more spuds to ‘ave enough for you then” Abby declared, looking into the pot and seeing not nearly enough to feed the family plus one more. She couldn’t very well knock her back though? Her own sister - it was unheard of.

Fiddling with a hole that had formed above the hem of her dress and knowing it would need to be re-sewn when she finally made it home, she fidgeted and shared the latest news with her sister.

“The Doctor reckons she needs Radium Abby,” she said, her voice breaking. A sob burst forth, erupting from deep in her belly, wrapping her in a cocoon of pain. She had held herself together for so many days, not wanting her baby girl to realise the enormity of the situation. Here though, in her sisters’ quaint cabin she could finally let go the anguish that had been building for days. Rubbing her wet hands on her stained and yellowing apron, Abby took the three steps between them and took her sister in her arms. Holding her as the grief of emotion came rolling out between great wracking sobs and streaming salty tears. Her body shook as drew her sisters’ grief away. Steady arms, muscled and recently tanned from the relentless Queensland sun, she held tight until her younger sister had cried a river. Feeling guilty that she had worried about spuds of all things, when a small life was at stake.    


This week Write on Wednesday (WOW) Gill said it was Choose your own Adventure week. As I missed several weeks of WOW, I chose to revisit one I hadn't previously done and that was Week 9 Think with Character. This little story is continuing on from my previous 2 weeks and I am greatly enjoying setting up little scenes and continuing on. I apologise though if you find it a little disjointed, it is all one greater story and at the moment I am bouncing back and forth between times in it. This piece is continued on directly from a previous piece and is set sometime in the early 1930's. It's obvious I need to do a lot more research, but for now I'm really enjoying these small tales. Hope you enjoy!

Write On Wednesdays Exercise 9 - Think with Character. Choose a character from your writing posts. You can still do this exercise if you are new to WoW - select a character from another piece of your writing or simply work through the exercise from scratch.   Now, think about the character in regards to their: gender, age, occupation, physical appearance and mood at this moment. Is your character in the city, the country, inside or outside? Do they live in rich or poor surroundings? Alone or with others? Answer all, some or one of these questions. Now, set your timer for 5 minutes and write the first words about your character that come into your head. Stop when the buzzer rings. This may be one week where you feel you need to throw the timer and take your time. Do whatever works for you. You may also like to consider: Complexion, Style of dress, Hair colour/style, Speaking voice and likely vocabulary, Strengths/Weaknesses, Mannerisms

OR for a different approach

* Look at how your character fits into quotes like the one at the top of my page. For example, what does YOUR character do when nobody's looking? You can find more quotes about "Character" here.



Kristy Prowse said...

Hi new follower
I really liked this - nice sensitive character piece.

I was unsure of the time period but remembered back to your previous piece.

Just looking at this line

A sob burst forth, erupting from deep in her belly, wrapping her in a cocoon of pain. She had held herself together for so many days,

Do you mean to say something like this?

The sob burst forth ...from her belly breaking the cocoon of pain she had been in for days...

Sarah said...

Love all the little details, the smell of bread, the hole in the dress. It really give a great visual picture alongside the emotion of the piece.

With regard to it being disjointed. I've found this a little too with mine by having an ongoing story that needs to fit with the prompts. I've created a page in my sidebar to try and put it in order (but have been a little lax about it). At some point I'm hoping it will all come together on it's own or with just a little tweaking. Maybe that would help you if you find people dont want to jump around or search through other posts for the story?

Lene said...

I love how detailed and descriptive your writing is. This piece is so heartbreaking, I can really feel the Mother's pain.

spring days, new growth said...

The characters are so well described, I can see both of them and feel their feelings. Someone else commented on trying to avoid using frequently used phrases - eg "shadow of a doubt" , I'm wondering whether "cried a river" may be one of these too?
Great work

Kristy Prowse said...

Hi, I just saw Kate's comment and agree with trying not using cliches.
Maybe if it is in dialogue it's ok?

Kristy Prowse said...

Hi, I just saw Kate's comment and agree with trying not using cliches.
Maybe if it is in dialogue it's ok?

Kerry said...

Great piece here. The emotion of your characters shine through your words, and I can feel for the pain of the mother. Your descriptions are wonderful, too, but I agree with the above comments about trying to avoid cliches. Nice job!

InkPaperPen said...

I like the bones of this story, it's interesting and I like that the setting is a piece of history. There are some lovely bits of writing here, strong characters and strong visuals. I do agree that it is best to avoid cliches (like overused phrases). Again, this is an area I am struggling with but once we are aware of it, we can learn to be better writers. Your writing is improving from week to week and I think it is because you are being brave enough to ask for advice and constructive criticism. Good on you! Keep at it and you will just get better and better

No one said...

This piece paints a beautiful, if sad, scene and I really enjoyed that. Others have commented on cliches (which are always my biggest problem - so hard to rewrite what others have already written so eloquently!), but I was actually more distracted by the change of perspective between the sisters. Who's character were you establishing? Maybe both of them? The story starts with one sister and ends with the other, describing the inner thoughts of both. Perhaps choosing one and bringing out the other's character through the first's observations? I'm really looking forward to reading more of this story - you portray relationships beautifully and very naturally!