“A memory of exploring an empty soon-to-be-renovated house.” — I would like you to set a story in your primal landscape – meaning, the place in which you were raised. All primal landscapes are interesting to the writer who lived there because the landscape is part of who he or she is.
“What would you do if your world goes silent?” — We want to smell, hear, and see your setting. We also want to hear it written about with credibility. So you’ll have to do a little research – both functional and imaginative – in order to write this one convincingly. As soon as you place a character in a setting, you have a situation – a story. That character must interact – live or die – in that place and time.
“I want to play tennis again!” — I would like you to write about a HABITUAL RITUAL in second person. Using the “you” voice, describe a holiday, ritual, or routine in specific and significant detail. Let the details accumulate. Let them be funny, sad, and honest.
“Sometimes you just have to say it in the moment.” — I would like you to write what I call a slow motion moment. Write 300-700 words describing an action that takes ten seconds of real time. You are describing only the concrete, material details of the event.
“A visit to the daughter’s house.” — The aim here is not to practice withholding ideas or feeling, but to practice revealing them through the surfaces of physical experience.
“A story of a granddaughter who didn’t realize her own emotions.” — This story was my first submission for the Very Short Narrative assignment.
“A story of a girl who, in her naïveté, didn’t expect the hills of life to be this hard to climb.” The cut version. — To say more with less. To push your language down to its essentials. To say only the best of what you mean.
“A story of a girl who, in her naïveté, didn’t expect the hills of life to be this hard to climb.” — We all tell stories all the time. Just write one. It will be fun, and it will be agony.
“Exploring an ancient castle in the age of space travel.” — Artists learn to draw and thereby to learn to see. That’s what this exercise is about. Learning to draw with language and thereby to perceive more vividly.
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