Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Steering The Craft: Exercise 5: Chastity

Well, Exercise Four Part Three is proving quite useful for diving deeper into the world of my novel, revealing the name of a character's persona I suppose was already being fleshed out, but the piece is also now 2500 words and who knows if it will end up being shared here or not. In the meantime, enjoy a quick read through of the straightforward exercise below. It contains a completely new story to develop. Yeah! And eww, get off me adverb clumped with adjective. I mean to say, it contains a story that shines and glitters and glows. Or rather, it falls into a jungle.

Exercise Five: Chastity
Assignment: write a paragraph to a page (200 – 350 words) of descriptive narrative prose without adjectives or adverbs. No dialogue. The point is to give a vivid description of a scene or an action, using only verbs, nouns, pronouns, and articles. Adverbs of time (then, next, later, etc.) may be necessary, but be sparing. Be chaste.
Critiquing: would the piece be improved by the addition of an adjective or adverb here and there, or is it satisfactory without?

Guiredin stomped through the mud. The door clicked as his child closed it. They had said their farewells over a meal: they tore bread off in chunks and swished milk down after it then Guiredin clamped a hand on Melite’s shoulder and nodded. Melite smiled and hefted a bucket from the floor. Guiredin  jerked his jacket on and clambered onto his ride. The beast snorted, the beast shook its hair, and the beast tested its rider’s balance. Guiredin shrugged, let his beast warm up, and watched Melite walk into the barn.

They set off into the foothills. They galloped through brush; they leaped over streams; they shuffled down outcroppings. They reached the top of a cliffside and halted their progress. The beast rolled the marbles that made for eyes, and it gazed at the vista. Its master stood on its back. The beast didn’t jerk,  it made no test of balance.
Putting a hand to his forehead, Guiredin locked his eyes on the jungle below. It looked like a giant had taken its shovel and unearthed a secret. This was the easiest part of the job: admiring the beauty from a distance. It was also the hardest: now was the time to focus and plan, not admire the vines grappling nuts, the moss choking trunks, the ferns breaking the canopy.
He knew this difficulty. He had planned before the bread and milk was served. And so, he sat, he patted the head of the beast, he pressed in with his knees, and he tightened his grip. The edge of the viewpoint approached. The air opened up and through it they went.
The beast went spread eagle: its legs jutted out, its hair punched the air, its tails paddled as if they were entering a pool. Descent intensified the view; the loss of altitude was a joy.

Guiredin utilized the hair like wings, and he encouraged their fall to shift. They went left; they meandered; they cruised. A branch jutted out and the beast shot out his tails. The tails entangled the branch and stretched. The stretch brought the beast and rider below the canopy, and the beast released the tails. They dropped and the beast stuck claws into a trunk. They stopped and surveyed the jungle. They peered through steam. The vegetation was releasing stress. That meant, there would be other beasts to tangle with patrolling the area.  

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