Saturday, January 17, 2015

Steering The Craft: Exercise 3, Parts 1 & 2

Exercise Three: Short and Long, Part One (from Steering The Craft)

Assignment: write a paragraph of narrative, 100-150 words, in sentences of seven or fewer words. No sentence fragments! Each must have a subject and a verb.

Part One, First Draft:

The apartment creaked again. He stopped typing. It continued overhead. There were purposeful steps moving forward. The ceiling whined in response. It groaned. It wheezed. It didn’t stop. Another pair of steps joined the other. They were at again. But who were they? He sighed. Another look wouldn’t hurt. But no one lived there. He had checked and saw nothing. He had knocked and gotten no response. He had asked the landlord. The room had been vacant a year. Bad location, the landlord shrugged. Inquiries with neighbors were useless. No one admitted anything of consequence. Still, the mystery carried on. He avoided his own home more and more. Outside was an icy downpour today. He had a stack of paperwork to push through. His girlfriend had canceled their lunch plans. He figured it was due to the ex-husband again. He was mopey. He wanted a show and a smoke. Ice cream and a book would do. Either way, he desperately wanted to stay home. The ceaseless unexplained noises didn’t care. Or they did care. They cared about his presence. They were reaching out for him. They begged confrontation. Everyone thought there was no presence there. It was only him that knew. And only himself that could handle it. There were no other options. He would kick that damn door down.

Exercise Three, Part Two, Assignment: write a half-page to a page of narrative, up to 350 words, which is all one sentence.

Part Two, First Draft:

And Nevera nodded silently to the servant Hwandai and allowed him to take her hand and lead her to the promised cubbyhole for a secret tryst, arriving excited after exiting and entering several chambers via doors or narrow walkways, or sometimes stairs, and finally there was a ladder, a garden, and a lift descending into the dark, until there they were in a candlelit corner of an abandoned lower level office, and it was there where she unlocked her thoughts in an excessive splurge as if finding herself in a private confessional of sorts, or stumbled over her story at seeming random, and Hwandai listened, peering at her in the shadows and acknowledging his interest with gestures and attention: I have reasons to both trust you and not, you see, since you’re one of the Freenra and I have a past intense series of moments with a Freenra, about a year of a friendship of sorts – a temporary alliance let’s call it – during which he proved his loyalty, showed me a genuine humanity; there were times I didn’t quite understand his approach and his surroundings (I had spent some time in his home with his family, his friends, and his comrades-in-arms), so what if you were able to help me grasp where I had faltered previously, and so perhaps I should start with him, even though I wouldn’t know where to start; from one view, he brought me to where I am now, and is that cause to trust a Freenra or to distrust – at times, this is a wondrous locked box, and at others it’s a cruel solitary prison; there was the night his daughter was sick, when she screamed at me, and she begged her father to kick the cursed Tethern girl back down the mountain slopes before she brought her curses to the rest of them; as father, he comforted her and nudged me to step out of the room, and later on, he  shared her symptoms with me, confided in me as if I was his wife (this is what I mean by reasons not to trust you – are all Freenra so quick to divulge secrets?), and I thought it odd – but you see, he viewed me as his most precious apprentice, not as his sudden wife as I had briefly feared, and I was there to learn all I could from him, to perhaps control my internal miseries and push out these curses his daughter had recognized; she had not been wrong of course, I was cursed, and her father was a fool for taking me on.

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