So, I found an interesting web site (http://mysite.du.edu/~bkiteley/exercises.html) which has some creative writing exercises (from a much larger selection in the author’s book, The 3 A.M. Epiphany). Found it while I was searching for various creative writing resources. Anyway, it’s the kind of thing I’d been looking for, never having had any formal creative writing teaching, something to give me some actual exercises to have a shot at.
And of course, now you have to suffer the consequences. Since Brian’s exercises are from his book, I won’t post the full text of the ‘question’ here, but I’ll tell you which number I had a shot at (#2) in this case. I actually ended up writing a story which in no way had anything to do with the question, but it was fun none-the-less.
The little bell tinkled as Jane opened the door. She loved that bell, it meant somewhere warm and relaxing where she didn’t have to think about work or Ben, or any of that. Alice looked over as she set down two scones and a pot of tea, “Coffee? Usual?” She turned away again, not really waiting for the answer and caught the pot with her hand. Everyone scooted backwards as hot tea covered the floor.
The waitress looked more surprised than anyone and apologised over and over, “I’m sorry! Here, let me get a cloth and some more coffee, really, I am ever so sorry!” The man in the seat looked mean, but he just nodded.
Jane shook her head a little, watching Alice bustle about getting more tea for the two pensioners in the corner, before taking a seat for herself near the window.
Watching had always been a favoured pastime. Even during a wet drizzly today like today there were always people moving out there, rushing to be somewhere else or to get back to where they had already been.
Jane looked up as two young boys ran past, almost losing a football to a bus, laughing and enjoying another sunny day. Her coffee arrived, her usual. She nursed it for a while before adding sweeteners and watching the little patches of foam form on the top. She would ask Ben what caused that, and then reminded herself she wasn’t thinking about Ben today.
The door swung open, a little squall blowing in some rain and a gentleman struggling to hold onto his hat. She hunched a little closer to her mother, hugged her little bear a little tighter; nervous but not sure why. She got a pat on the arm, everything was all right.
The door swung open and the bell tinkled. Her eyes snapped from her coffee to the door. Two girls had come in and were ordering some sandwiches for a nearby office, Jane didn’t quite hear everything, enough to remind her of her time running around getting lunch for other people. Which led to Ben, and another lapse.
She watched as he walked over to the table next to theirs. She gripped her mother’s arm a little tighter, her bear tighter still. There was a bang, a scuffle, the man was pushed into their table, she fell to the floor and her mother’s arm was out of reach. Another bang.
Mother? But so much blood, even at seven she knew it was too much.
Jane snatched her phone from her bag, dialled her mother. “Mum?”
“Who else Jane?”
“You never told me how Gran died?” There was a short silence.
“Jane, are you okay you sound… has something happened?”
“How did she die?”
“Well, it’s been such a long time, are you sure? Okay, I remember it had been raining.”
So, now when I try out the various exercises on that page (and maybe if I buy the book and try a few more) you guys get to suffer! You can petition Google to add a feature to Blogger if you want, to filter out certain tags. I’ll tag all these as ‘Fiction’ so if they ever do add that feature you can avoid them!