Saturday, September 21, 2013

Writing exercise A-Z/Bradbury/Don't Think

Writing Exercise:

purpose: to practice randomness in structure.

The exercise: Tell a story using only 26 sentences. The first sentence has to begin with a word that begins with A. The second begins with a word that begins with B. Continue to Z.

I think a writer works hard and writes a lot and thinks a lot about writing to get to a place where, when he or she writes, he or she DOES NOT think. I'm going to go all Zen here and say that when you write you have to be the story. That means that all you've learned goes into your story, but when you're writing it you don't think about these learned things because you're doing. It's like I've said before when comparing writing to martial arts. If you think, you're too late to react. Writing is like that. If you think, you aren't in the moment of the story. (Revision is another beast entirely!)

Here's an excellent video (from WritingAlchemy) that mentions Bradbury who said he had a piece of paper taped over his workspace that said DON' THINK.


Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

A long time ago in a land not quite so far away lived a young woman named Xara. Being born to a poor family, the young woman had very little. Careful not to waste what little they had, Xara would save everything and find new ways to use even the most used up items; she and her new creations became the talk of the village.

Despite the fact that she was a mere peasant, the king, having heard of her ability to transform objects, called upon her to entertain his guests. Everyone in the castle enjoyed seeing old rags turned into dolls and old silverware become wind chimes. Full of delight about being in the castle and being adorned by nobles, Xara was radiant.

Guards and nobles alike noticed how beautiful she was and how ingenious she was as well; rumors spread about her beauty and her talents. Hundreds of men of various statuses began to try and woo her, but the young woman was oblivious to their advances. Instead she was focused on caring for her family and creating new things for people that would come to the family's shop. Just about all the men gave up, all but one.

Kyle was the last of the suitors; he saw beyond the value in just possessing such a woman and saw her true beauty and was willing to work to win her affections. Leaving trinkets for her at the family shop to express his affections was the first step in his plan to win her heart. Making a public declaration of his affection was the second step in his plan. Naturally her parents were thrilled that their daughter had caught the eye of such a handsome and wealthy suitor and they were eager to betroth their daughter to him, which was his third and final step.

Outraged at being treated like an object, the young girl refused to marry under such circumstances. Perhaps because he was so persistent and charming that Xara gave Kyle another chance and he and the young woman began to see each other. Quickly Xara and Kyle became very close friends, sharing everything. Romance bloomed between the two. Seeking again to wed the young woman, the suitor again declared his love for her. This time the young woman shared his feelings and agreed to marry him. Upon her acceptance to marry him, Kyle shared his secret; he was in fact a prince.

Various royals and nobles came from far off lands to the castle to partake in the wedding ceremony and feast. Weddings were a happy occasion for everyone in the kingdom, and a wedding between a royal and a peasant was cause for even more celebration.

Xara was ecstatic to be in love and marrying a prince; she and her family would want for nothing from now on. Yet she still wanted to continue making use of things that seemed no longer useful; it now would be her hobby and her cause. Zealots from around the land came to her to learn to do this thing she called recycle; even if they were done using something, it was still able to be used by others.

Brian Yansky said...

I love this!!! Wonderful use of the exercise...