Sunday, February 6, 2011

Ack. I'm stuck

I have the next set of exercises saved in my bookmarks because I can't bring myself to just work on them.  They are much more involved.  Something about creating a new character and filling out a long questionnaire about them, etc.  I don't wanna.  I want to just use the characters I've created already.  Which I should just do, but I'm resistant to doing what the instructions say to do.  There is no instructor, no grading system, so I don't know why I'm so hesitant to just do it the way I want to.  Oy vey. 
I need to get a move on and type.  I'm not entirely sure why I'm procrastinating this lesson.  It's bound to be a very good lesson for me.  I don't know what I will discover, and maybe I'm afraid I will waste time or not like the finished product or something... hmm... okay, okay.  I'll just do it.  Here we go...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Writing exercise #2

These are the instructions for the next exercise.  Please leave me feedback if you think I'm not getting it.  This is a completely random scene I wrote spontaneously for this activity, which they suggested doing about a character very opposite to yourself.  I think a 55-year old hispanic male who sell cigarettes is pretty different from me. :)

Now write a brief character sketch in which you reveal the character's appearance, their feelings about it, and their current circumstances. Use a third-person narrator (‘he’ or ‘she’).
His graying hair hung limply in front of face.  Sweat dripped onto the tip of his rounded nose and his lips pursed in frustration.  If he had been able to move, he would have dabbed it away.  It was 110 degrees and his hands were tied.  Literally.  The bastards had tied them behind his back and taken the money from the register.  Louis shifted uncomfortably on the filthy linoleum floor, trying to see out beneath the counter, but it was no use.  If only he’d stayed in shape.  He’d been a national championship wrestler at Lincoln High.  His bronze skin and dark eyes marked him as different from the other boys, but he’d proven himself.  Now, at 55, he was overweight, cramming himself into his 40-inch waist jeans, muscles gone flaccid on his arms and legs beneath the extra fat.

The robbers left the shop without untying him, of course, laughing and joking with each other.  They’d been young, maybe not more than 20, he was sure, though they’d covered their faces.  He had noticed their solid, muscular arms, the confidence with which they had walked, heard the promise of youth in their voices.  His hands ached.  He slid backwards against the corner of the office doorway behind him and started rubbing the ropes on his wrists against it.  Maybe if he did this long enough he would die of exhaustion.

The air conditioning had given out three days before, and the little cigarette shop in San Luis, New Mexico was sweltering.  If he didn’t get free soon, he would surely pass out from dehydration.  Panting, he pushed harder against the doorframe, sobbing slightly with the effort, as his bulky arms throbbed. 

Suddenly the door opened again with a pathetic, little tinkle from the bell attached to it.  He froze, hope and fear competing for his full attention.  “Hello?” He said, hesitantly.

“Salvador?” The man looking over the counter at him was the last man he wanted to see.  Even the robbers returning to kill him would have been better. 

“Aye, brother.  Do you think you could help me, or were you planning to stand and watch until I faint from the heat?”

Estefan smiled slightly, his little pinched mouth widening beneath the worm of a mustache on his lip.  “Feeling warm, Brother?  You look a little damp.”

He sauntered behind the counter, grinning wider and bending over Sal.  He drew out a shining silver pocketknife, flipped it open, the blade catching the light menacingly, and slid it slowly behind Sal’s back.  Sal closed his eyes, forcing his breathing to slow.  When he opened them, Estefan was turned around, looking into the open register, tsking and shaking his head.