Rowyn (rowyn) wrote,

Writing Exercises: Truthful and, Ah, Otherwise

A month or three ago, some guy who reads my journal noticed that, hey, it could really use some help. Not being the sort to just say, 'Um, don't quit your day job, you hack', he considered te possibility that, with time and determination, even I might be able to learn something about how to do it right. So he recommended this book to me: Creativity Rules!

(I'm joking, level_head. That's lying for humorous effect. See that big bulge in my cheek? That's not a tumor, that's my tongue. C'mon, admit it, it made you smile.)

Anyway, being the dedicated, enthusiastic professional that I am, I promptly ignored this advice. "I have too much writing to do! I don't have time to learn how to do it properly!"

(I'm still joking, though this is more on the lines of "exaggeration" than outright lying. Look, my father is Jewish. Self-deprecating humor comes naturally to me, OK? Gimme a break here.)

However, as June approached and I announced to all and sundry that I was taking a break from "Prophecy" and not committing to writing anything, etc., I realized that my excuse was about to evaporate. I reacted fast: I ordered the book online, paying for the slowest shipping method, in the hopes that it would take 6-8 weeks to arrive, my break would be over, and I wouldn't have to actually read it, much less do any exercises from it.

Alas, it was not to be. Darn bookseller got it to me a week later. I put it off further by claiming that I had to finish reading these library books I'd had out for nine weeks already first. But now I'm done with those, too, and I'm all out of excuses. At least for the next 6 days, until June is over and I can claim to be too busy to learn again.

Creativity Rules! (yes, the exclamation point is part of the title) is subtitled "A Writer's Workbook". And that's what it is -- just like the kind you had in grade school, you know the ones, with fill-in the blank sentences and essay questions and stuff. It even has blank spaces built into the text for you to do the exercises in. But, since I had it beaten into me by elementary school that "Thou Shalt Not Write In Books" ranked somewhere above "Thou Shalt Not Steal" on the list of commandments (but below "Thou Shalt Not Chew Gum and Especially Not Stick It to the Undersides of Desks If You Do"), there's no way I'm going to do the exercises in the book itself.

Besides, that's what LJ's for.

Oh, I could just do them in a word processor text file or even (gasp) a notebook, but that's no fun.

However, since reading many of these isn't guaranteed to be fun, either (I mean, we are talking about writing exercises: we're talking the text equivalent of watching someone do 50 push-ups, followed by 50 sit-ups, and, oooo, next: chin-ups!) I plan to label them with "Writing Exercises" in the subject and cut-tag them at the start, so they'll be easy to skip. I'll try to label the exercises a bit by way of explaining what I'm supposed to be doing in them, but I don't guarantee good labels.

Without further ado (ironic how much more ado than exercise this entry is, except that, for those of you following closely, you may notice a resemblance between the style of the preamble and the actual exercise, so in a sense ... ah, nevermind, I said without further ado, didn't I?) my very first writing exercise:


I feel silly.

Same basic idea, except thist time, not really honest, as such. Bold-faced lying, in fact.

At first, I didn't think I'd feel silly doing writing exercises from this book. I mean, I write all the time. But I couldn't think of anything to write, not even a good lie. Plus, fat cat's been meowing at me nonstop since I got home from vacation. I went into the kitchen to get a fresh Diet Coke and get away from her, but of course she dashed on ahead of me. I tripped over her, and, while flailing my arms to catch my balance, knocked a banana off the counter. I staggered forward, slipped on the banana, and slid, spinning, across the room. I slammed backwards into the pantry shelves at the far end, making it wobble precariously as I fell flat on my butt in front of it. I threw my hands up and backwards in desperate attempt to steady the shelving, and looked up just in time to see the cherry cream pie falling, cream-side down, towards me.

Next thing I know, I'm there on the floor, with white cream all over my face, glops of red gunk on my cheeks and mouth, and huge red cherry hanging off my nose. Fat cat came over, stood in my lap with her forepaws on my chest, and started licking at my chin, purring like a motorboat on cocaine.

Come to think of it, I do feel pretty silly.
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