Forum
Community Forum
Today's Posts
FAQ & Rules
Members List

Writing
Writing Forum
Recent Posts
Critique Guidelines

Groups
YWO Social Groups
Facebook
Myspace

Chat
 
YWA

Register

Store
Support YWO
YWO Merchandise
The Book Despository
Amazon.com (US)
Amazon.co.uk (UK)
Amazon.ca (Canada)

SBS Mag


Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old 10-17-2007, 09:34 PM View Post #1 (Link) 100-Word Exercises
Carraka (Offline)
Freelance Writer
 
Carraka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Little Montenegro, down on the Adriatic Sea.
Posts: 1,948
Points: 30
Times Thanked: 121
Unless you read my blog but don't comment on it (grrr), you probably aren't aware that I'm currently going to a workshop for high school fiction writers. There are only four workshops, and each week, we're supposed to write a specific something under 100 words. (Yeah, that makes only three exercises.)

I thought it would be interesting to post them up on here, seeing as then they can benefit more than twelve teenagers (or whatever). I'll probably post my own work, and we can even critique this stuff. Yes, it's possible to critique 100 words in-depth.

Remember--in order for these exercises to help you know your character better, they must be under 100 words.

Feel free to post your own exercise ideas on here, seeing as I only have three, and none of them are my idea.

Exercise 1: Show a character's psyche only by describing his/her clothing, gesture and/or environment. Stay completely with concrete and specific detail. Don't even think of adding an editorial comment or abstract word. You might give her an action to make things more interesting -- entering a room or fixing breakfast or something like that.

Exercise 2: Write a character's first-person monologue about her first, best, or worst memory. Include not only the event but some sense of why this was an important moment for this person.

Exercise 3: Complete one of the following sentences as the first of an opening paragraph. You can use real or invented facts.

"In 19__, when my mother was 17, she got it into her head to ...."

"When my father was 20 in 19__, he decided to ...."


ANYWAY, to start this off, I'm going to post what I wrote for the first exercise. I misinterpreted the instructions, but whatever, it was under a 100 words.

The girl lay on the scratchy blankets, staring at the ceiling. One hand was curled around the silver pendant on her neck, and the other hung off the edge of the bed. Her brown dress, though neatly-stitched, was torn and stained with black mud.
The small table by the windowsill was the only other piece of furniture in the room. Five roses had been artfully arranged on it, although three of them had long wilted. On the floor, buried among an assortment of different-colored pebbles, was a roughly-made wooden carving of two swallows in flight.


Feel free to comment. The girl is Lset, the main character in my novel, Equus Cruorem.
__________________
Corkscrewed alienation, rocking red. A kill. Joys again.
-- Alex

My mother is a fish.
  
						Last edited by Carraka; 10-17-2007 at 09:39 PM.
Old 02-01-2008, 08:13 PM View Post #2 (Link)
Beautiful (Offline)
Abstract Thinker
 
Beautiful's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 19
Points: 10
Times Thanked: 1
I like your last little example thing. Could you please private message me where i can find an online copy of your novel? It sounds lovely.
Thankyou. (:
__________________
Let me know if you would like me to Crit something!

"Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions."
-Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
 
Old 02-01-2008, 08:21 PM View Post #3 (Link)
Andy (Offline)
Administrator
 
Andy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: At home
Posts: 2,478
Points: 32
Times Thanked: 99
Okay, I'll try it. Number 1.

Bessodar marched along the dusty road, taking a long, steady glance at every human dwelling he encountered. They were pitifully made, nothing more than attempts by their inhabitants to seal themselves away from the outside world, like animals. Elves would do no such thing. Most of them lived in close communities, with homes shared by many, or sometimes they all went without. The same could not be said for humans, who locked themselves away from each other and from nature. They made enemies of everything and everyone, as far as Bessodar had seen.

I think tat actually helped with my characterization, Car. Thanks!
__________________

 
Old 02-01-2008, 10:08 PM View Post #4 (Link)
Carraka (Offline)
Freelance Writer
 
Carraka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Little Montenegro, down on the Adriatic Sea.
Posts: 1,948
Points: 30
Times Thanked: 121
You're welcome! I might as well post what I wrote for the second exercise:

For my fourth birthday, Father gave me a pup. Of course, Mother had to disapprove, and she started a huge argument over whether or not dogs had violent tendencies. Father won, as he had the louder voice. I don’t remember what I named the pup – a sweet name, probably. Like Buttercup. Or Butterdog. But I do remember that his fur was the softest cream yellow, and that every time I tickled his nose, he would sneeze. He ran away though, and on my fifth birthday, I received a pair of soft cream slippers.
__________________
Corkscrewed alienation, rocking red. A kill. Joys again.
-- Alex

My mother is a fish.
 
Old 02-02-2008, 07:54 AM View Post #5 (Link)
Zombified (Offline)
Freelance Writer
 
Zombified's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: California
Posts: 1,134
Points: 30
Times Thanked: 126
Authors note: I apologize beforehand for the gore and taboo subject of the Holocaust. But the horrors of real life must be told. And yes, the following story is a work of fiction.

When my father was 20 in 1945
he killed his first victim.

She was walking through a concentration camp with her baby in her arms, hurrying through the hazy afternoon day to complete the SS' orders.

She broke ranks and father was mad. He shot the woman in the head and let the baby fall to the ground. Her blood pooled in a circle around her head, a halo of her mortality.

The baby cried. My father made sure everyone was watching him. He reached down and picked the baby up. He held it up before everyone and shouted loudly so they heard every word he said.

The baby bit him.
He got mad.

He threw the infant down and kicked it onto its stomach. He snatched a nearby pike which held the Nazi flag in place and stood over the wailing baby.

The spectators watched in horror.
Both prisoner and captor.

He raised the pike, his eyes flashing insanity and hatred for the crying child.
There was a thud, then the baby went silent.
__________________
"Behind every beautiful thing, there is some kind of pain."
-Bob Dylan







 
Old 02-02-2008, 12:35 PM View Post #6 (Link)
Carraka (Offline)
Freelance Writer
 
Carraka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Little Montenegro, down on the Adriatic Sea.
Posts: 1,948
Points: 30
Times Thanked: 121
That was way more than 100 words! If you wanted to tell a complete story, I guess this would be good, because I don't really feel like knowing what happens after the baby dies, and whether the narrator turns out to be as brutal as the father. But for the purposes of the exercise, you might want to go back and trim things out. If I kept anything in the text above, it would probably be the "halo of mortality," because it is the most vivid description.

I'm going to post my last example, and then I'm going to start doing them for all my other characters. This one actually suffers a bit from the word limit. I cut out the date part though, because dates don't apply to my story.

When Father was twelve, he decided to write, direct, and act in his very own seven-minute play. He convinced three other children to work with him – two boys, and the girl that would one day be my mother. The play detailed the triumphant, virtuous and sleep-inducing adventure of a dragon-slaying prince and his princess. Father was the prince. Mother was the princess. The others took turns roaring from back-stage. They had only been rehearsing lines for five days when a real acting troupe came to town. Shortly afterwards, my father decided that it was his destiny to become an acrobat.
__________________
Corkscrewed alienation, rocking red. A kill. Joys again.
-- Alex

My mother is a fish.
 
Old 05-27-2008, 02:39 AM View Post #7 (Link)
Nanyoky (Offline)
Scholarly Apprentice
 
Nanyoky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Gaia! Seriously. I'm Tifa and own Seventh Heaven. Cloud's mine. Back off.
Posts: 0
Points: 11.3
Times Thanked: 3
(sorry, i'm not sure if i'm doing this right, but this is exersize one.)
Kari strolled down the stark grey halls, her brown leather boots made heavy thudding noises on the steal floor, accompanied by the jinggling of their buckles. She paused in front of the elevator, pulling her electric blue and yellow argyle socks up to the bottom of her plaid skirt. She took off her bright pink cow boy hat, faning herself.
"Can I help you?"
Kari smiled cheerily at the man, removing her purple sunglasses. He looked slightly taken aback at the naturally red headed asian teen's sea green eyes.
"Yeah, can you tell me what floor my daddy works on?"
__________________
Yoky's Random Thought Box:
 
Old 05-28-2008, 01:31 AM View Post #8 (Link)
Carraka (Offline)
Freelance Writer
 
Carraka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Little Montenegro, down on the Adriatic Sea.
Posts: 1,948
Points: 30
Times Thanked: 121
I'm not sure if that was right, because I never really understood the exercise. I just avoided dialogue and crossed my fingers. But I suppose if I were to infer stuff from your description (which was the post-exercise exercise) then I would say Kari is extroverted, optimistic, and not afraid to stand out. (This from her clothing, mostly, and maybe also her movements.) Er, her clothing choices are quite eccentric, but I know a few people like that. And that eccentricity is even reflected in her natural looks. She's asian, but I don't see the stereotype of grade-obsession in her.

Also her dialogue is informal, so I guess she finds it easy to speak to people, and doesn't take much stock in being extra polite to adults.

It's also interesting that she's in "stark grey halls", an environment that is an extreme contrast with Kari herself. And that her dad works in such a place might say something about him.

So I suppose it was good that I was able to gather all of that information, unless I turned out to be horribly wrong. Also, I would check the spelling for your exercise, and look up the proper use of hyphens. (:
__________________
Corkscrewed alienation, rocking red. A kill. Joys again.
-- Alex

My mother is a fish.
 
Old 05-28-2008, 09:04 PM View Post #9 (Link)
Nanyoky (Offline)
Scholarly Apprentice
 
Nanyoky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Gaia! Seriously. I'm Tifa and own Seventh Heaven. Cloud's mine. Back off.
Posts: 0
Points: 11.3
Times Thanked: 3
Thanks for looking over my experiment! ^_^ Hehe... yeah... I wasn't really sure of the exercises limitations, so I just kinda winged it. I'm a total sucker for dialog, it's kinda my staple. You got her spot on, so I guess that's good in any case! Woops *smacks for head* that's one of my many issues. I'm so scatter brained that when I get a thought, spelling, punctuation and grammer just fly out the window, never to be seen again. I'll try super hard to work on that, especially on this site.
Thanks for posting these exercises! They're super useful and fun.
__________________
Yoky's Random Thought Box:
 
Old 11-05-2008, 01:08 AM View Post #10 (Link)
electrilad (Offline)
Scholarly Apprentice
 
electrilad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 97
Points: 29.27
Times Thanked: 7
A bright, almost turquoise blue filled the sky, and a sun radiating happiness hung just in the center of its cloudless body. Immense white and gray buildings of all different shapes lined the streets, with trees of unrecognizable fruit every 20 feet. The shops had no signs above them, but somehow everyone knew their way around. There were no cars, only teenagers chatting in the middle of the road. This was not were children belonged; they lived in a different center. No, this was a teen paradise. And until they were eighteen, they would never know the horrors of the outside world.

(I was using this more for me. I'm trying to come up with a futuristic setting. I originally had a plot idea, but I changed the setting, and now the plot may change. Grrr stupid brain.)
 
Closed Thread
Thread Tools

 


All times are GMT. The time now is 02:41 PM.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 - Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
All writing Copyright © its author(s). All other material Copyright © 2007-2012 Young Writers Online unless otherwise specified.
Managed by Andrew Kukwa (Andy) and Shaun Duke (Shaun) from The World in the Satin Bag. Design by HTWoRKS.