So I’ve not been doing much on my blog lately mainly because a lot of the work required is on the forums. Here is what I have done…
Week 1 Exercises
Her fingers curled around the tea towel. She dried a plate. The plate was returned to the pile in the cupboard.
She dried the cup. Her hand shook. The cup fell to the floor. It shattered loudly. She swallowed hard. She sank
to the floor. She wept.
PART 2 (A)
His paws clawed the earth. The left lip curled, lifted. His snout quivered. His ears flattened. He drew back. He
wanted to bite through the layers and tug the fur free. His eyes narrowed. He focused. He paused. Galloping
with mouth ajar, he sank his teeth into the toy.
PART 2 (B)
He robbed the bank. He drove to South Bank. He abandoned the car. He went to the markets. He bought a
duffle bag. He transferred the money to the duffel. He caught a train to Roma Street. He transferred to a train
heading to Sydney. He slept. He awoke in Sydney. Police surrounded the train. He was arrested.
PART 2 (C)
They abandoned shaving. They snorted cocaine. He tickled her. She stumbled. He bit her. She shouted. She
pinched his nipples. She licked his neck. He tugged off her clothes. The clothes tore. Scratch marks remained.
He entered her. Heaving, he pushed her to the wall. He ground his hips against hers. Her toes curled. They
soared together in a galloping rhythm. He swallowed hard. He blinked slowly. He was alone. He could dig that.
[Author’s note: I have gone over the word limit in this narrative because I wanted to challenge myself
to find a way to use all of the words given to us in this task and still have an effective plot.]
He pointed the gun straight at the teller. Her frozen look of fear told him he would be successful. “All the
money,” he said quietly. His curt tone showed none of the adrenaline coursing through him. He was
electrified, whilst outwardly he appeared serene. Serene yet determined. He placed the weapon back in his
pocket but kept it pointed toward her. In what seemed like an age, she handed him a cream bag filled with
bank notes. He tipped an imaginary hat at her and strolled confidently from the bank. As he started his car, he
could hear the bank alarm sounding violently. At the second set of traffic lights, he watched three sets of
police cars pass him. He continued on, three kilometres below the speed limit. His breath was steady. He
remained calm. He drove to South Bank and entered the underground carpark. He exited the car after wiping
down his prints from the steering wheel, gear stick and door knobs. In his left pocket was the gun wrapped in
the rag; the other held a bag full of banknotes. He casually walked up the stairs. At the nearest bin, he dropped the weapon and car keys. As expected, the markets at South Bank were particularly busy. It wasn’t long before he had bought himself a nondescript duffle bag; in the male toilets he transferred the bulge from his pocket to the bag. Walking more briskly now, he entered the nearest train station and caught the next train to Roma Street. He transferred to a train heading south to Sydney. It wasn’t until he was alone in the sleeper cabin that he began to relax. He counted the money. Not as much as he’d hoped, but enough. Finally, he slept. Hours later, he awoke as the train pulled into the Sydney station. He stretched and started to head toward the passenger doors. Suddenly he felt himself jerked backwards. Glancing around, he saw the scores of police advancing towards the train. On the train. In the train. He was surrounded. There was no going back. He was done.
Hi Decemebr, (no need to submit a cover page for these exercises). Well done. You followed the exercise mandates carefully, and really didn’t go over the word limit – you were allowed 350 words for the extended narrative, which you paced beautifully. Great stuff. 92/100
Week 2 Exercise
Writing Exercise 2: Microplotting
Their toes bumped under the table and an awkward “Sorry” filled the air. He glanced up at her,
feeling embarrassed. Eyes fluttering, she looked down – her face hinting at her confusion. Her hair
flowed over her eyes and the shadows made her even more appealing. He wanted to break the ice
but didn’t know how. He looked down at the table, trying to think of something to say. He felt the
abruptness as she moved her foot further away. He leaned forward, thinking it would force him to
speak: say something, anything, to break the now-obvious tension. She felt the flush of air as he
moved and looked up, directly into his eyes. She arched back, surprised at how close he was. The
silence stretched between them, aching with its own intensity. She coughed slightly, as if clearing
her throat, pleased to hear some kind of sound in the heavy quietness. Once again, he leaned back,
his eyes furtively checking her response to his closeness. He had no idea how to bring the
conversation back around. With a deep sigh, it was time for him to take the plunge. “Have you
decided what you want to order?” he asked. There. They weren’t the words he wanted to ask, but it
was, at least, noise. The heaviness was now gone. The air lifted as she picked up the menu again. Her
smile radiated toward him and she settled more easily in her chair. Suddenly, their toes bumped
under the table. This time, they both laughed.
Word Count: 255
Author’s Note: I tend to write with a ‘twist in the tail’ when I write short pieces so it was a real
challenge for me to stretch myself into trying a different style that still has a sense of completeness
but doesn’t end with an ‘ahhh’ moment. I’m hopeful that I still achieved tension without it.
Well done, December. This was delightfully intense and focussed -the tension palpable. The only line I wasn’t too keen on was ‘the silence aching…’ Good stuff. 84/100
Week 3 Exercise
Writing Exercise 3: Focalization
North Richmond street, being blind, was a quiet street except at the hour when the blood rained
down, splashing hard on to the pavements, leaving red smears on the concrete. When the school
bell rang, I would rush quickly toward home. Yet most afternoons, I would feel those first few
stinging drops of the blooding and bolt towards the nearest stoop. Most days I managed to scramble
to Mrs Morley’s house. Other boys from my class held stiff umbrellas to shield them from the
spattering bloodpool but I was not as affluent as they.
For as long as I could remember, the bloodrains had begun in the afternoon. There was little warning
as to which hour it would come: sometimes it wouldn’t arrive until after dusk had settled in for the
night, and other times it would hit with a startling clatter at lunchtime. But most days, the red rain
would fall shortly after school was released. It came with a symphonic thunderous boom that
bellowed like a raucous audience and ended with a roar of discontent. Rivulets of thick red ooze
would swallow the gutters; its warm cloying stream drenching every crevice in the street.
I huddled that afternoon, in Mrs Morley’s stoop, watching the blood gush and wane, like a noisy,
vicious tide. I was willing to wait it out. On the other side of the street stood Morris, an older boy
from school, who hunched under his coat as he was battered by the wind. Above him, the decrepit
awning outside Miss Maxine’s house wavered under the onslaught. He hadn’t been as lucky as me.
His trousers were soaked in red to the knee; his shoes a bloody, muddy mess. But, like me, he
couldn’t afford any protection against the blood rains and we both used as much as our respective
buildings we were hiding in, to give us solace.
Hi December, I liked what you did with this -the blood both real and surreal, symbolic but also -in our fraught environmental times -something more threatening. Bloodrains had begun -should be followed by a ‘they’ not an ‘it’. the last sentence of this was awkward and needed further work. 83/100
Week 4 Exercise
Writing Exercise 4: Analepsis and Prolepsis
A decade later, as he watched the newly-finished building burn, Fabian Tjin was overwhelmed by
memories of the day the original house shuddered and fell, due to the largest earthquake on record.