Sunday, March 6, 2011

Example of 10 Minute Writing Exercise

In both the Creative Writing class I just finished & the Walkerton Writers Group I just started, ten minutes seems to be the magic number for the length of time we should get for a writing exercise. Depending on the topic, ten minutes can be too much time, too little time; move too quickly, move not quickly enough; and sometimes, just right. Typically, I don't get too caught up in finding the 'perfect' story to write about. It is a ten minute exercise, after all.

In my first Walkerton Writers Meeting last week, we were given the writing prompt "I've never been so scared in my life" for our exercise. In my ten minutes, I wrote the following:

I've never been so scared in my life as I was when my little dog, Orion, ran out of the house on that dark night in January.

I opened the door to step outside to retrieve the mail and before I could close it behind me, he was through my legs and down the stairs. I didn't expect him to go far since the ground was covered in days old snow and he's only 15" high to the tips of his perked ears. Unfortunately,m Orion had other plans, taking advantage of the cleared paths and shooting straight down the driveway to the street.

A million scenarios flashed through my mind as I considered how I might find him in the dark. Without a flashlight, there was not enough light to navigate my way through the banked snow. Yet, going inside to find a working flashlight sounded like a time-consuming effort in futility. Still, I opted to search for a flashlight, quickly found one and ran back into the freezing night calling the escapee's name.

I paused every once in a while to listen for the telltale jingle of his collar and continued dow the street in hopes I'd picked the same direction he'd chosen.

After what seemed like an eternity, I turned into the darkness in time to see glance my way and attempt another escape. Calmly, I knelt down, lured him closer with loving, sweet sounds. He ambled my way, crossed right outside of my reach and raced down the street in the opposite direction. The same direction from where I saw headlights approaching in my direction. I doubted the oncoming traffic would see such a small pup, so I did what any mother would do and stood in the middle of the road.
... and then she called time. Ten minutes was up.

1 comment:

Jody said...

Damn that stop watch...I can only assume this story had a happy ending...right?