Note: Penny, over at WIDELY UNREAD, introduced an interesting writing exercise from 3 A.M. EPIPHANY that challenges writers to create a scene using imperative commands. Penny’s example is 500 words as suggested by author Brian Kitely. I decided to accept this challenge today using the 50-word limit! Let’s see how this works.
Meet Chelsea at the parlor on Main. Watch Raul open new needles and check latex gloves for pinholes.
Don’t be brave; let Chelsea go first.
Breathe; the stings WILL stop.
Admire Raul’s handiwork, hidden so Mom won’t see.
Dream that night of spreading vines.
Awaken to a nightmare come true.
August 3, 2011 at 10:22 PM
Well firstly, big thanks for the shout out!
And nice work on the exercise!
Regret and tattoos go hand in hand sometimes.
Maybe I’ll take repay the favor and take a stab at the 50 word challenge, although for some reason the brevity seems a little intimidating. Wow. Talk about concise.
August 4, 2011 at 8:06 AM
So happy to shout out, but I don’t know if it will build your readership because MY WRITING LIFE is “widely unread.” =)
50 words is challenging and limiting especially for me because I am naturally a “wordy” writer. For that reason, it is good for me.
The limitations often obscure what I really want to convey. But that’s not always bad because readers find different ideas that also work. I might rewrite “Morning Glory” sometime to fully develop the nightmare-come-true I imply in 50 words.
A teacher friend of mine uses this in her classroom to tighten up her students writing, and they love it. Plus they create masterpieces that rival the best.
Have a great day, my blogosphere friend! I LOVE your comments!
P.S. If you think 50 words is short, have you scrolled down to see my 6-word memoirs in my right-hand Twitter column under “TheWriteRead”?
August 4, 2011 at 10:04 PM
Ha, that’s okay. If my readership grew exponentially, I’d have to change my blog title!
I sort of tried to return the favor today. I had a 300 word entry that I struggled with. Those 50 words seem like an impossible feat. Will check out the 6 word memoirs. Sounds like tricky business.
August 4, 2011 at 11:26 AM
“Widely unread”…are you referring to my hips?
I’m actually going to comment on this one because I want to know what you were thinking. Do you see her going to sleep during the tattoo? That seems unlikely. And they don’t put you under, usually. I mean, I guess they might, but? I guess the order confuses me. She is feeling stings, so that would be her…but is Chelsea going first? Who is she admiring?
I’m so sorry. I must be dense.
Do you have a sister? You write so well about sister relationships.
Thanks for my daily dose of feeling like a real English person. I look forward to your posts everyday!
August 4, 2011 at 1:03 PM
Okay, this was a hard one to create, and I could really use some input for revision. These were my thoughts that I hoped would be implied.
1. She chooses a morning glory flower and vine because she thinks it is so beautiful and she doesn’t realize it’s also a lovely weed that spreads EVERYWHERE.
2. She goes through with the tattooing – scared as she is – survives the bee-like stings.
3. Later – and this is where I ran into problems because I didn’t adequately show the passage of time – she falls asleep and dreams of the tiny flower and vine spreading ALL over her body.
4. She awakens, relieved “it was all a dream.”
5. She looks in the mirror to check out the tiny, hidden tattoo and discovers her dream was a nightmare-come-true. Little purple flowers and green vines are tattooed ALL over her body.
6. Mom will kill her. =)
All ideas are welcome. And yes, I have one wonderful sister. And NO, I was not talking hips!! Funny Girl, YOU.
August 4, 2011 at 3:00 PM
Love it, love it, love it! You are seriously amazing. I am so impressed by your creativity and I love how you love words. Me too! And you! 🙂
August 4, 2011 at 9:29 PM
This one is terrific! I head up a blogging group on Facebook (Hey! You should join!) and each week I post a really general topic or a writing challenge. Last month, one of the challenges was to write a complete story in exactly 100 words, title included. Not everyone was able to get theirs to exactly 100, but there were lots of great little stories.
Oh, and in case you do want to blog with us, just search GBE2 on Facebook. There’s also a link to the group’s page in the right column of my bloggity-blog. Everyone is welcome!
August 5, 2011 at 8:29 PM
Thank you, Beth, for the invitation to join your blogging group. I actually saw the link to the FB page when I visited your blog. I clicked on it and saw something that said it was a “closed” group. I’ll take another look. I appreciate all resources that help me improve my writing.
Thanks, too, for your encouragement, and have a great weekend! Renae
August 5, 2011 at 8:53 PM
Thanks…I am following it better now. There is a short story by Orson Scott Card that I’m going to find for you. You are amazing.
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