The idea this week was to write a monologue suitable to be performed by a middle-aged male actor.
The prompt for this week was ‘Self-isolation’. All manner of fiction or non-fiction pieces were welcome.
The prompt this week was ‘Aliens’, which people were entitled to interpret in any way that suited them.
This week we wrote a fictional piece based on a newspaper story. The story, taken from the Gloucestershire Echo, concerned a court case about a street crime in Gloucester.
This week we are writing something based upon a bit of original research. After some casting around, we decided our subject would be ‘Tudor and Stuart architecture’.
The prompt for this week is ‘My earliest memory’. It can be autobiography or fiction.
This week, we are going to try and write a story based on a story someone else has told us. It can be any sort of story you like. Good luck.
A couple of exercises in showing and telling this week.
This is a very famous exercise in descriptive writing, or showing not telling, devised by the American novelist and teacher John Gardner. It appears in his book The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers (1991):
Describe a barn as seen by a man whose son has just been killed in a war. Do not mention the son, or war, or death. Do not mention the man who does the seeing.
It is quite difficult. It’s an exercise in entering someone else’s mind. I think you are allowed to say “A man approached a barn” or “A man went into a barn”. There are quite a few attempts at doing it online.
This one is more straightforward:
Take this sentence and write three ways of showing it without saying it:
She was unhappy.
Terrible weather last Sunday, so only three people turned up. As a result, we are going to repeat the “notebook story” exercise so everybody can join in. Remember, it doesn’t have to be a complete story: it can be a fragment, a poem, a piece of memoir, a scene from a play or anything you fancy.
Next week we’ll do the second half of the notebook exercise. Make some notes this week or bring some you have made before. The notes can be anything you like or think might be useful. All our notebooks will be different.
Then I want you to make something based on one or more notebook entries: story, prose piece, dramatic scene, poem.
When you come, bring the finished work and the notebook item(s) that gave rise to it.
Cutting and pasting into notebooks is allowed but only if you use scissors. 😉