Thanks to Grace, of “Practical Creative Writing” we used this exercise today:
There are ten exercises below and each one comprises a simple set of three questions. Each one should be answered as quickly as you can. Remember, there are no right or wrong answers – only ideas. It is up to you to decide whether the ideas appeal to you enough to make you want to develop them further. I suggest trying them all and see what happens.
1. Who is coming round the corner?
It is Lilly. Her green dress flaps wetly around her legs. There are flicks of mud stuck to her stockings at the back that show she has walked swiftly through the rain for sometime. She is hurrying and takes no notice of where she has headed. Fortunately for both of us, I do.
2. What is their secret? 3. What are they carrying?
Lilly is huddles over. She has her arms wrapped protectively about her chest. At first glance it appears that she is trying to keep warm, but her thick wooden cardigan belies the action. The day is not so cold. She is rushed and flushed, her cheeks unnaturally bright in the greyness of the dim twilight. She does not notice me, but, trained as I am to observe, I notice the gasp as I catch her shoulders to avoid knocking her into the street. I notice the gasp and the clutch of her hands to her midsection. Lilly is pregnant and I don’t think that it is what she wants.
1. Why did Peter lose his temper with Joanna?
Joanna laughed smugly, knowing that this time the tables had turned. Peter would be the one to leave their home today instead of her. She sat back comfortably on the white leather couch, watching as he scrabbled for his keys and wallet in the African earthenware dish they’d fought over early in their marriage. She knew it was the right thing to have by the door; he felt it was worth the yearly income of the small African village it had ostensibly come from. Just like today. She knew that selling their home was a bad idea; he believed that they needed to downsize. Phhht! Downsize was only a word she wanted to hear in relation to her wardrobe or her waistline.
2. Where did he go after he stormed out?
Peter headed to the late night cafe only two blocks away. He knew he was in no fit state to drive. This latest argument with Joanna had left him in no doubt of the state of their relationship; it was over. A fact he should have known any number of years ago. He and Joanna had been at loggerheads even before they married. As he drank his mildly bitter, styrofoam infused beverage, he knew that they were best described in terms of the fashion houses Jo was so fond of. She was Dolce and Gabbana and he was Dollars and Sense. It was ill fated from the start.
3. What happened to him when he got there?
An hour and a half and three lukewarm cups of coffee later, Peter knew the showdown that he’d been expecting wasn’t going to happen. Wearily, he walked the now quiet streets back to the atrocious and ostentatious villa. It too was quiet. He turned his key in the lock and made his way to the crisp perfection of the spare room.