Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A little mid-week exercise

So there was a great free creative writing course I found online a while back. I worked through it and I really enjoyed all the different aspects the program brought into play. I really enjoyed this exercise and I thought I'd share it.


Exercise 3: Take one of the three creative thoughts you wrote down in Exercise 2, then list 20 separate words that communicate or describe that thought. Do not, at this stage, link the words into sentences. Once you have your 20 words use them in a poem of 16 lines or less. Then, take the same 20 words and work them into a short story of under 300 words. Which exercise came more easily? Which form has best communicted your creative thought?
20 words: Warm, damp, soak, puddle, trudge, dance, revel, wallow, release, pressure, sad, lonely, hidden, emotions, overflowing, damage, mud, fresh, drip, patter.
Warm raindrops drip down my face, my emotions overflowing with nature’s damp tears
I trudge through the mud and puddles soak my feet
Wallowing in the sad and lonely trip, the damage is done
My fear drove me to run away, the world is a bleak place where I am all alone
I follow the path, collapsing at the end
I marvel in wonder at what stands before me
In the midst of all the mud stands a single flower
White petals dance with the patter of each drop
It revels in the fresh gift of life from above
I close my eyes and release the pressure of all the expectations
I will learn to be the flower

Flash Fiction

Ceril walked out of the house with nothing but the clothes on his back. His shirt quickly became damp as the warm raindrops dripped from the bare branches. He trudged along the hidden path, feeling sad and lonely as he relived the scene he just left.  He knew if he didn’t leave everyone would’ve been able to see all of his emotions betrayed on his face.  In the quiet of the empty woods he could hide the tears overflowing from his eyes and wallow in the pain without any more damage to his remaining dignity.

He never knew it would be like that. Ceril had just wanted to dance, to revel in the love he felt just hours before. He’d thought they had something special, but he’d been wrong. They went to the party and there it all fell apart. Jennifer had tried to stop him, but it was too late, the damage was done. Ceril ignored Damon attempts to explain as he slammed the door on his way out. Not knowing what else to do, he’d taken off for the woods.

He was alone again. He'd known it could happen, but his hope had blinded him. He scrubbed at his cheeks, trying to wipe away the fresh tears that continued to drip down his face. Avoiding a puddle in the middle of the path he stepped to the side and slipped in the mud. He fell to his knees. His hands clenched, and he beat them on the ground.


His scream was a release of the pressure that had built up in his chest to choked him. In the aftermath, the pattering of the rain on the flower petals was the only sound breaking the silence.

One flower escaped destruction to stand alone.

He’d become the flower.

So, basicially what came to me is that I enjoy creating strong evocative emotions in my stories, but I am soooo not cut out for poetry. You can find the creative writing course here, if you are interested in checking it out! 


  1. Your poem isn't bad at all. I thought it lovely while I was reading. And yes, you have a real gift for weaving emotions into your stories. Go with your strengths is what the pundits often say, so it sounds like you've keyed in on one of yours.

    1. Thanks Tali! I don't think I'm truly awful at poetry, but what you don't see in the words used is that it took me 5x longer to write it than the flash piece did. I see in pictures and I can use words to show the whole picture to give the character's emotions life in their actions. I consider my word choices deliberately to do so.

      A poem is more ... allegorical. You have to evoke the emotion in a subtle way that I find very difficult since I'm a technical writer, not an emotional one. I have a hard time using such an economy of words when I'd rather just let the character show it instead.

      Either way, thanks for reading and commenting Tali!

  2. I thought your poem was beautiful and well written. I took a creative writing class a few years ago and we started out with poetry. I never liked it cause I was intimidated to write it. I soon learned to love it.

    1. Thanks so much. I've tried my hand at it a few times, but it's just not my thing. I think poets think in different ways.

  3. Wow!
    I never have enough of your stories. Your poem was beautiful too but honestly I love your stories (starry eyes).
    Thanks for sharing the site.Hope you don't mind my stealing your exercise.

    1. Aw, thanks nostalgiclikeyou! I'm working hard on a story with plans to spend most of today writing so then I can turn my focus to projects for my readers here! Please do steal the exercise, it is just one of many great ones in the program.


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