The orchestra played “The Waltz of the Dancing Bears” as the couples alternately swirled and pounded their feet to the deep bass music, heavily accented by drums. Candles burned in silver candelabras placed on the window sills of the ball room. All wore white, shining in the dim light. Sir Milos Westerman spoke.
Details can seem annoying when you’re reading (too much scenery or a paragraph endlessly describing how a room looks), and I’m often told by students that they skip those parts. Even so, when details are connected to events and dialogue, they add a lot of depth.
Your challenge, should you choose to accept, is to add interesting details to these boring sentences, without writing a whole paragraph. One sentence limit for each! Heck, Hemingway wrote a one sentence story: “For sale: Baby shoes, never worn.”
Here you go:
- We had fish for supper.
- Ivan sniffed, then sneezed.
- One man yelled, “Bravo!”
What is it that he wants?
Bart knew he had to get away. He’d made a big mistake marrying Edith two years ago. She’d turned out to be not only endlessly crabby but a major slug. As far as he could tell she lived on bologna and American cheese sandwiches—his dinner three times a week.
He took off on his ten speed, hoping to burn up some of his frustration and anger while also clearing his head. The bike trial led through the woods and down a hill toward a field dotted with cows. He’d never been this far, and the trail was beginning to fade into a grassy meadow full of spring dandelions.
Suddenly his front tire hit a rock the size of a softball, throwing Bart over the handlebars onto his back. He lay there staring up at the sky, trying to catch his breath.
Veronica took the old brass coin and flipped it at Rudolfo. It bounced off his purple vest and landed on Lane 10 of the Bowl-Away bowling alley with a loud plonk.