Prompt for week: 5th January – 10th January, 2015
RULES TO PARTICIPATE
- Participants must read all the stories by the participants and critique them.
- When you critique a story, you must post your comment/critique on the story along with a link to your story. This avoids confusion looking for the read.
- Make sure you say more than awesome read or well written piece in your critique. Tell the author why you like it. You can even be a grammar Nazi.
- Be as open and honest as possible with your comments for that is how we learn.
- Edit well before posting the read on your blogs.
How to Participate?
Read the prompt and the exercise on ushaveera68.wordpress.com blog.
- Write your scenes/story and post it on your blog.
- Go to each one of the participants’ blogs and post a link to your blog post along with your critique on the read.
- You get time from Monday – Saturday to write and post your stories, every week. Blogs posted after Saturday 6.00 PM will not be critiqued.
- A prompt will be posted every Monday latest by 3.00 PM.
Coming up with story ideas can be the hardest part of writing, yet imaginative writers often build stories around seemingly inconsequential objects or common place images that others might overlook. Creating a story from the smallest detail is a skill worth developing. This exercise provides practice in developing a story around such a simple detail: a few words of graffiti. Words are everywhere, even places they don’t belong: spray painted on bridges, lip-sticked on public restroom walls, scratched into an old school desk, carved on the trunk of a tree, smudged in the grease on the back of a truck.
You might write about a sixteen year-old girl who writes a note using her finger on the fogged rear window of her dad’s Chevy. The message emerges again on a rainy day when Dad is driving the family to church. Or perhaps a man calls the number scratched on the wall of a gas station restroom, and recognizes his neighbor’s voice. Does she recognize his?
Have fun with this, but remember the point is to spin a story from a simple detail. Push your imagination, and enjoy
In fewer than 500 words write a story in which the conflict revolves around graffiti. Use first person POV. The person speaking need not be the one who wrote the graffiti, but could be. While we are at it, let’s make the stories/scenes inspirational.
Critique by commenting on how well the story uses the graffiti as the point of conflict in the story. How does the writer’s choice of the protagonist make the story more effective than if told through the eyes of a different character? And anything else you would like to add.
Have fun writing as it travels through to your reader… Get your creative juices flowing? It’s just first week of Jan. Buckle up…
Looking forward to some great reads and inspiring stories.
Here is my take…
My Dictionary: Sans the Word Impossible
It happened when I was eight. As a ritual grandma Krishnaveni, Veni (that’s what Gramps lovingly called her) walked me to and from the bus-stop where I boarded my school-bus. We loved our walk-talks. We shared Aristotle-Plato like bonding.
One day she read aloud the red-writing on a patch of whitewashed-wall behind the bus-stop, with difficulty. It read –
To become an expert in English
Address: 101, Madinaguda
Next to JNTU X-Roads
Ph: 36495 60920
Since that day, she kept looking at the words like a vampire craving blood.
One evening she emblazoned in the crude sign for a few minutes and dragged me along a couple blocks to the address from the graffiti.
The lean guy chewing pan at the front desk asked initial questions and arrogantly said, “It is not for old people like you. You should pass 10th class to join here.”
He chewed on his pan a few times and asked, “Do you even know the English alphabet?” He bared his pan-stained teeth at his own joke.
She’s not old… She’s only 51, I thought.
Granma’s face turned red as we zoomed out of the office. I couldn’t decipher if it was from humiliation or outrage. She cursed his backward thinking all along our journey home and said, “Idiot… Amul listen… Never stop learning and never let anyone make you believe something is impossible.”
Since then I observed her spend a lot of time watching TV, especially English channels.
In three months she spoke English fluently. Of course she had a thick accent, doubly-rolled her Rs, Ms were yums and zero was a geero.
Nevertheless, when I asked her how she did it she said, “I initially bought three books – Tagore Gitanjali, English-English and English-Telugu dictionaries. I first memorized the passages from Gitanjali. Then recalled each word from memory and looked up its meaning in the dictionaries. Made notes and listened to people talk on English TV channels.”
“Wasn’t it difficult to read English?”
“I went to school until I got married at 13.”
Oh yeah, she read the graffiti with difficulty. I recalled.
“How many books did you read?
“Eighteen books in three months.”
That day, I pressed the delete button on the word “Impossible” from my dictionary.
That my dear Journal is what I said in the two minutes allotted to me at the International student orientation, today. I gave the White, Black and Beige audience a little taste of home – My India which they never see or hear about in our media driven world.
Journal Entry dated: 12th September 2004.
University of Saskatchewan