I’m Ann Linquist, freelance writer and online writing instructor. Whether you’re interested in writing fiction, creative nonfiction, or effective business documents, I invite you to explore this site and find out how to reach your writing goals.
How about telling a holiday story, but including one of the following very un-holiday-like items as a way to yank your story into new territory.
–Franklin Roosevelt’s dog Fala
Peanut inspired me on that last challenge. I’d like to set up a story that we can all build on. In this challenge you have a play to put on. Feel free to be yourselves as characters if you wish since the casting has not been finalized. We need a director and also a sponsor putting up the money who isn’t quite sure what to think.
The setting: Bumble City local theater group is putting on a play, very roughly based on the plot of Little Nell. In case that doesn’t ring a bell, Little Nell (a Dickens character from The Old Curiosity Shop) is the orphaned, lonely, teenage daughter who lives with a rather inadequate grandfather who gambles away all the rent money for their cold water, Victorian-era apartment in the slums of London. An evil landlord, demands the rent, or the usual “fate worse than death” if Nell doesn’t pay up. Her one ally is the illiterate young man, Stanley, who works in the shop for her grandfather. I won’t rule out a hero entering stage left.
The Bumble Players have decided to recast the play in modern times. You can take it from there.
Albert (actually Alberto, with Italian parentage) is a social worker, mid thirties, living in Chicago. He has fallen in love with Roberta, single mother to a two-month-old baby boy. She has recently separated from her somewhat feckless husband, Stanley, who wants to be a professional musician.
Albert has plans to woo the lovely Roberta, so he can take care of her. Roberta is currently living in a third floor walk-up apartment and being supported by her parents, who don’t know what else to do.
What will happen to these people? How about writing one scene and then a synopsis of this rest of this tale.
Write a dialogue between two people who never quite listen to what the other person is saying. It ends up as two different conversations, where neither of them ever quite realizes that they are not on the same page and are not talking about the same thing.
I like the idea of seeing things in a new light, of skewing the context so that you describe a common activity in an unlikely way. Here’s one of mine, called “Chair Ride.”
Sitting in the car,
cruise controlling down the road,
my honey and I
kick back like two off-work ditch diggers,
relaxing in these comfy chairs
inches above a streaming road,
careening along in multi-adjustable seats
as if we’re watching tv
and enjoying a pleasant show
about the landscape of Wisconsin
complete with soundtrack
and curving ups and downs.
Best seats in the house.
Your turn to skew a little reality for us all!
In the movie, “Patton,” George C. Scott speaks these words about war, “God help me; I love it so.”
I am not a war promoter, but I love this passion. It’s passion for something that bursts from his heart and describes his yearning. He doesn’t care what other people want or care about. THIS is what he loves.
What do you love?
He has a heart of molasses.