The introduction to this series is here. But the idea is simple: one quick writing exercise a day for seven days. Post the results in a comment below, or, if you prefer, email them to me (at my name at gmail).
Day three! Several people mentioned that day two of the series was a lot trickier than day one. I found this a little embarrassing, as this series was originally meant to be a brisk stroll rather than an obstacle course. I am learning something about myself, then, through this process: my fondness for obstacle courses…
Anyway: while today's exercise is less challenging than yesterday's, it should still get those writing muscles working. It is simple. Write a paragraph of about five sentences, more or less, in which you
1. describe a character's disappointment with something or someone.
2. involve something “red”, or something connected to “red”–sunsets, blood, red velvet cupcakes etc.
3. use only words of one syllable.
The last requirement is where the magic comes in. A constraint on the words we can use can have remarkable effects on our writing, our subject matter, even our thinking. It is like being a completely different writer.
Here's one from me:
The ground was bright and dry at the crest of the hill. In the clear sky, the moon hung low and round, like an eye of bone. You were in the red tent, the one sign of life in all these woods. You and the girl with the long dark hair: I could see in my head how the two of you touched. Your lights moved on the tent's walls, and your voice was loud in the night. The moon shone on my knife, as I turned it, this way and that. I was so glad we could talk, you and I, one last time.
PS If you teach creative writing, I've found one-syllable writing to be a very popular and interesting assignment / classroom exercise. But I find it powerful for my own writing, too.
Enjoy! Looking forward to reading your examples: they've been really good so far. I'm very excited that people are enjoying this series.
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