In the last post ‘Cooking the books’ I gave a list of ideas/games for writing practice. I hope you were able to try them out.
Or at least some.
Anyway, I thought I’d better show that I practice (!) what I preach.
I have a wonderful friend who indulges me my writing quirks and he gave me a list of three items. (Thanks MJ). The three items are included in the ‘story’ and the story is just over 3,000 words.
You might want to pour a cuppa first.
Keep in mind that this was never suppose to be published, it’s just a practice ‘story’, one of many I have in my files. It beats a blank page any day.
Just for this practice run I watched car racing, both Formula 1 and the V8’s, got hooked on ‘Top Gear’ (the price you pay for your passions), and took a little from real life when I used to work in the Taxi Industry and we had a workshop out the back. I also researched the elemental compounds of crystal. All for a short 3,000-ish word story that wasn’t supposed to be published.
Time in practice is never wasted. Okay, so it may not go towards ‘The Story’, at least not in plot or character development, but the foundations you learn, writing practice runs like this, builds your arsenal towards writing ‘The Story. Just as a player of a sport spends time in training, developing muscles and techniques, which he then uses to play ‘The Game’ – the ‘muscles’ and techniques you develop here will be used when you write ‘The Story’.
Oh, and don’t forget to have some fun while you’re at it.
Here goes.Read More »
Day 18 – The neighbourhood has seen better days, but Mrs. Pauley has lived there since before anyone can remember. She raised a family of six boys, who’ve all grown up and moved away. Since Mr. Pauley died three months ago, she’d had no income. She’s fallen behind in the rent. The landlord, accompanied by the police, have come to evict Mrs. Pauley from the house she’s lived in for forty years. Write this story in first person, told by the twelve-year-old sitting on the stoop across the street.
“Can’t you do that somewhere else?”
With a sigh I looked up at the ceiling waiting for Mum to remind Mrs Malone that I had to practice.
“Can you play outside Munchkin? Just until your dad comes home?”
Gripping my flute I snatched the music off the stand and stormed outside. I couldn’t even slam the back door. It had a tricky catch. It wouldn’t shut if you slammed it.
I used to like Mrs Malone. But that was before she moved in with us. After that she didn’t seem so nice. After that she stopped being the nice old lady from downstairs. After that she became the mean old lady who took over my bedroom.
I didn’t care that Dad had been in the army with three of her sons. I liked her better when she used to come around for Christmas only and baked cakes and bikkies for the Jordans, the Ropers, the Wiskers and me.
I sat on the concrete ‘nowhere’ stairs. It was like that song in ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ where the main guy sung about stairs going nowhere just for show. The stairs lead to a brick wall. But from here you could see the main courtyard between the apartments and the street too.
Hearing the wizz of wheels I looked up as Jak jumped off his board with a little hop.
“Hey. The bat lady send you out again?”
I held up my flute as proof.
Jak sat on the same step with the board across his lap. “Did you hear the Wiskers’ are moving.”
“Mr Wisker got a job in Sydney.”
“I wish my Dad would get a job in Sydney. That way Mrs Malone can have our house and I’ll get to go to the Arts Centre every other day.”
“You can’t do that. Who would I talk to?”
“You’ll have to actually find friends.”
I rolled my eyes. Jak liked using big words. Some of them I think he made up, but I couldn’t say for sure.
Suddenly Jak leaned over his lap. “Who are they here for?”
I followed his pointed finger.
“Maybe Mike Hutchens is growing dope again.”
“Nah, he hasn’t got out of jail yet.”
“Maybe Sissy Richards’ boyfriend stole some stuff like last time.”
“Maybe, instead of pontificating, we should just watch which apartment they go to.”
“I’m nowhere near a pond.”
Jak sighed and pushed his glass back up his nose. “We should stop talking like we know what’s going on and just watch.”
“Well why didn’t you say that?”
I smiled at Jak’s tone. He was so easy to ruffle.
We both watched in silence as the cops got out of the car and waited on the footpath.After a few moments a fat man in a brown suit lead them down the pathway toward us.Read More »