Friday, December 12, 2008

Writing Exercise 46- Wordplay

This one's from Mark:

and enter your full name to generate a list of anagrams. Now choose one of the anagram results as your title and use it as an inspiration for a poem, short story, or essay. Word count should not exceed 350 words.

Read my piece taken from my anagram below:

Am Van Jig Root

Am Van Jig Root, the fabled root of the south
Is most sought after by men for it’s favored broth
Just a sip or two from its boiled stock, is like mana from heaven
And will leave you with a bull’s rage

An aphrodisiac to some, the most effective cure to others
Such revered is this herb, lest it could only be a myth
For no one has seen it…

In stories of the old, of legends and folklore;
You’ll need to climb mountains and dare deep crevasses to prune it, exactly at the sun set.
Legend has it that if you do have gotten hold of one, you must never take your eyes off from it;
Lest the moment you let it out of your sight, It will vanish to thin air.

Many have tried to find the Am Van Jig Root
Rich and poor, young and old alike;
Some on horses and mules, others on monstrous machines,
They bring plows and wonderful tools;

Gallant looking they are at first as they took on the mountains;
One minute proud, but weary cord tired faces at the last.

Once a foolish youth did the inevitable, the herb he tried to find;
A drunkard’s challenge, by the village inn;
Out of folly and merriment, a bet out of too many a sip
To the bartender he made a truce
Such is the lot, he drank whilst he did not paid;

He made the journey one dawn’s crisp air,
With nothing but himself along, which was too drunk to even care
He looked back to see peregrine cold faces,
As he took the strides...

Days went by, with no news of his travel
Without a mumble, heads bowed thinking it was failure;

Then came a dawn after a hundred suns
The boy did return, now a ruggedly clothed old man
With a grin he gave, to the awe agape bartender; the herb

How he did it, A secret that beats the hell out of you and me
But one thing I will do share... that old man here is me…

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Writing Exercise- Strictly Dialogue

This dialogue exercise evolved from a previous one by Luida. It involves writing something that is made up ENTIRELY OF DIALOGUE, but in short story form (NOT MORE than 350 words). That means, you absolutely CANNOT adapt the format of a play (e.g. JUAN: Good morning...). Also, you absolutely CANNOT use speech modifiers (e.g. ...said Juan, Juan said...).

Your piece should be made up entirely of sentences in quotation marks. And your piece must reveal something about the characters, the setting and the conflict/plot only through dialogue. A tip: One way to distinguish each character is to make them sound unique in their lines of dialogue, that way your reader won’t be confused who’s saying what.

Below is my piece, about soldiers trapped in a war.

Defeat and Malaria
(341 words)

“Get up soldier, for Christ’s sake, gather your remaining strengths and belt the enemy until the last round of your ammos!”

“I’d surely fight any day with you sarge, but this damn fever’s creeping in my gut. I’m getting weak with every passing minute, here.. aghh… Do you see my fuckin’ hands? God I’m too damn weak to even raise my rifle… slim chance support will get here. It’s all hopeless sarge, better to be holed up in this damn trench than be butchered above.”

“Do you hear yourself saying that soldier? I can shoot you here right now for uttering that… You used to be a ruthless soldier George, who’ll never think twice to fuck up fear into the enemy’s gut…. think soldier, how many battles we’ve won for home, sure as hell I am not gonna go down here without a fight!... Sam... Go up there and man the machine gun!, Damn mortar rounds are now dropping and the skinnies are inching us by the left flank…Don’t just stand there, maybe this’ll make you… I am not gonna think twice to shoot soldier, so do as you’re ordered!”

“Sarge… Aghh… Sergeant Buck! We’re all gonna die here, I’m telling ya…fighting this stupid war that’s not even ours to fight... we’ve been herded to the slaughter.”

“Get a hold of yourself soldier and fight, support’s gonna be here any minute now so we’ll have to hang on tight.”

“Really sorry sir, but ill just be here and wait for my time as with the others…We’re a brigade when we came here…now we’re reduced to a handful…The enemy was not even upon us then… Aghhh…stupid fever’s eating us one by one…”

“Goddamit soldier, don’t make me shoot you! Do as I say or ill have your head on a platter!”

“This is madness sarge…might as well shoot you to get through your fuckin’ brick head…give me a reason to shoot you… I just want to die in peace, can’t you see that? now go and leave me here to die... please…”

Writing Exercise- Personality sketch in 200 words

Imagine a life cut short into 750-1500 words. This is a writing technique called the personality sketch, which is commonly used for feature writing in paperbacks but has gained popularity in more mainstream media such as newspapers, magazines, periodicals, etc. Here’s an example of a special section published in the New York Times featuring the lives of people who died during the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Choose a person that you know (or create one using your imagination) and write a glimpse of his or her life, personality, idiosyncrasies, etc. Personality sketches usually use anecdotes, direct quotations, physical description, etc., but for the purpose of this writing activity, we can be more “creative” or “imaginative.” Write as you please, and introduce us to that person in no less than 200 words. :P

Below is my piece about a local musician's alterno life.

Julian Sev

Julian was a musician by the core, living and struggling in daylight at a local fast food chain and traversing the now diminishing city bars at night.

For years the downside of the local music industry has gotten into his thoughts and that earning a lump sum from it is always impossible. Sometimes he earns and sometimes he won’t, still he shrugs off that it’s another day to live by.

A musician’s life here in Cebu is uncertain, that he knows now, for no matter how hard he tries and just how focused he is, it’s always a struggle. The next best thing he thought his band could do is to move to Manila and gamble their chances for a break there.

“He’s always spending his time with his band after work and come home drunk on late nights. He just doesn’t have time for us anymore; I think he already has forgotten his duties with our children! I heard he has a relationship with some woman he met after a gig and that he’s now into drugs. That I don’t know if I’ll believe or not. It’s his stupid belief that someday his music will get him and his band far, but the way I see it all their efforts are in vain. It may even be a miracle if we’ll have a decent meal tonight.” His wife Sheree sobs.

Before the band, Julian Sev in his mid- 20’s and a father of 2 great kids, used to be just a reminiscent young man, an engineer by profession and an idealistic family man who always maintain a balance between his hectic schedule of work and quality time. His life made a 360 degree turn when he started a band along with Ernest and Neil. They took on the local music scene thinking that they’ll get somewhere…