Monthly Archives: March 2011

Writers Studio – Week 3 Exercise

Exercise based on Deuce:12:23am by Barbara Anderson

Create a narrator who is completely different from myself and who is giving a monologue, and just let him talk on and on and on in an exaggerated way. Underlying the monologue there is a core issue, but touch only lightly during the story.

HELLOOOOO WORLD!!!

Welcome to Sunnydale high school on this beautiful day! The sun is shining brightly outside, the birds are chirping merrily and life is good, so good in fact that I want to share it with you, dear audience. That’s why we’re here today, that’s why I’ve brought my video camera, because I want to show you my wonderful school and all the wonderful people who are in this beautiful place.

Let me introduce you all to my pal Brian first. Brian is such a nice guy, always offering to meet up with me after school to teach me some lessons. I learned sooo much from Brian during these after school sessions, about how the real world works, about how being weak is considered a sin and about how being strong means you can do whatever the hell you want. Hey Brian! Look here! Wave at the camera Brian! The audience just loves it when we interact with them, don’t you know that? But… why are you shaking, Brian? Don’t tell me you’re afraid of the camera, surely not you, not a big tough guy like you, who is so strong and so full of self-confidence. Yeah, you’re a tough guy all right, so why are you shaking? Wait a minute! Stupid me! Of course you’re not afraid of the camera. Continue reading

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Writers Studio – Week 2 Recap

Exercise based on John Jin by Rose Tremain

Have an older narrator look back to a special place in his childhood. Have something happen to that place as a foreboding for the real story. Though the real story is not revealed yet, there should be hints of it throughout the story.

Click here to read the exercise

Well, I’m back at the Writers Studio classes again, and I have to admit I’m feeling new inspiration to write now I’m back. It seems that no matter how stressed I am at work, the stress I feel when writing always manages to push that to the background. Which incidentally reminds me of this great strip of Calvin and Hobbes:

Last minute panic. Yup, that’s certainly what I feel whenever Monday is approaching fast, and last Monday was no exception. There is a significant difference to the previous exercises however, which is that this time I already knew right from the start what I wanted to write about. But at a certain point I just got completely stuck trying to bring my story forward, and I was just struggling just to come up with a coherent piece. Thanks to the helpful comments by the others during the class however I now have a better idea how to proceed. Some of it seems so obvious in retrospect that I feel like slapping my head. I’m almost certain this is the piece I will choose to revisit during the revision session.

On to the exercise itself: after I printed out my piece I had the feeling that the real story I was trying to tell is hidden too much, a suspicion which is confirmed by the others. I think I did that semi-consciously because the real story is so blindingly obvious to me, but I need to remind myself that the reader does not possess the same information and background story I have in my head. So for the revision I need to find a way to sprinkle in some elements which would give the reader some clues without immediately giving the entire story away. Other than that the piece seems to be quite ok, even though I was so sure it was a horrible piece. Goes to show I really need to trust myself a little bit more and to stop listening to that voice within me…

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Writers Studio – Week 2 Exercise

Exercise based on John Jin by Rose Tremain

Have an older narrator look back to a special place in his childhood. Have something happen to that place as a foreboding for the real story. Though the real story is not revealed yet, there should be hints of it throughout the story.

I often held my auntie’s hand whenever we walked to the hawker center, a few blocks from where we used to live in Singapore. Once we arrived however, I would yank my hand free and run off while my auntie would struggle to keep up, zigzagging between the countless tables and stools and evading the hordes of hungry people, while I explored the little stalls that went around the entire hawker center. There were hundreds of them, thousands or maybe even millions, with every single one of them holding the delightful promise of a delicious treat. Shall I go for the Mee Goreng today? Or maybe the Hokkien Mee? Or do I want Otah? No, no, wait! I see Roti Paratha! I want Roti Paratha!

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Filed under Stories, Writing Workshop