Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Writing Exercise

Today's exercise is one of my favorites and the one that has produced the most starting points for my novels and short stories. Below you will find a list of random words. Use at least five of these words to help create a piece of short fiction (200 to 250 words -- more if you are so inclined). When you've finished, come back and post your results!

Dourest Reveal Drastic Growl Croon Pouting Faulty Stamps Hand Gumdrop Fanned Crimes

Have fun! I'd love to see your results...if you post yours, I'll post mine!

Susan Wells Bennett


  1. Hi, Susan
    I'm following you from Writer's Retreat...!

    Gogi crooned, “Yes, yes, ladies and gentlemen, yes, yes, ladies and gentlemen!” as he helped guide his pouting seniors through the front doors, not too quick, not too quick but in a let’s move way before the automatic doors would release, begin to slowly close on them, panic all of them. It would become the main topic of conversation during dinner, flames of indignation fanned by the faulty judgment used trying to move seven senior citizens from the lobby chairs, through the doors and onto a van.
    “Amagna,” he called out. “Can you hit the button again?” and she did, and the doors bounced madly on its hinges, startling the group into motion and gasps, scattering like sparrows a little to the left before they got themselves straight out of the building. Just in front of the doors, the van waited, doors wide ajar to swallow up the seven with the dourest of faces as if an outing to the local pharmacy superstore was the worst of crimes. Gogi himself was glad to be going. He needed stamps, shampoo and cough medicine for his daughter. He wanted to look at socks, too. And he knew if he played his hand right, more that one of the old ones would start growling over who would be buying him and Amagna some treats, candies, snacks even though officially he was not allowed to accept gifts. As cranky as they could be, they could reveal a soft side, treat the aides like the grandchildren who rarely visited.

    Good luck Here!!

  2. Hi Emily!

    Thank you so much for following me over. I was really hoping you would! I like this new character you're developing. And I love this image:

    "scattering like sparrows a little to the left"

    Since you posted your results, here are my results, as promised:

    Ophelia, unwilling to let go of her mother’s hand, fanned herself with the magazine someone had left for the woman in the next bed. She wouldn’t be reading it, Ophelia thought.

    A few hours earlier, the dourest man she’d ever seen and his pouting teenaged assistant had rolled the old woman out in a black plastic bag. After they left, Ophelia pushed the curtain back so that she could see out the window at the other end of the room. The magazine, one of those rags that sensationalized celebrity gossip and revealed the details of brutal crimes, was just sitting there, abandoned.

    Her mother was still unconscious, though Ophelia could swear she’d heard her crooning a lullaby a few hours earlier. Now, a rumbling growl was working its way out of Ophelia – hunger that wouldn’t be ignored any longer. Setting down the magazine, she used her free hand to pull open the drawer of the nightstand next to the empty bed. A bag of gumdrops lay inside. Glancing back toward the door to be sure no one was watching, she snatched the gumdrops and closed the drawer quickly.

    Putting one of the stolen treats in her mouth, she looked at her momma again. Momma’s eyes were open and staring at her.


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