Exercise #893: Craft
Warning. We dip into horror a bit on this one. (Not very far.)
I don’t read or write horror or mysteries, so I’m probably missing some of the best “misdirection” out there. Still, I find it intriguing when I see it and I struggle to add it to my own writing.
The example that sticks with me best is from Cujo, by Stephen King. (Really. I don’t read horror. I was young; it had a dog on the cover.) I didn’t make it very far into the book, but the pieces I remember are two scenarios where Mr. King lets the readers do their own combining. The first is something about ground glass in food. I can’t remember if it was a newspaper or news report, or if the neighborhood was just aware. I read that part and wondered if maybe I’d picked up the wrong book. The next scene is breakfast, where our protag (a young mother) is feeding her son cereal. The son gets sick and begins to vomit. It’s pink in color.
The readers are primed to put these two together and determine that the son may be in serious trouble. (He’s not; the cereal contained Red #700 or something like that.)
For today’s exercise, build such a combination. Show us two scenes, which may or may not be related but have enough possibilities that they may be. You may, if you like, add a commentary.
Critiquers, in addition to a technical critique, you might consider the following questions:
* Did this piece help you as a writer? Why or why not?
* Could you relate to it? Why or why not?
* Did your mind make a connection between the two scenes, even if there really wasn’t one? Do you have any suggestions on how to make that “connection” clearer?
Word limit: 1000 for each scenario (limit two), 200 for any commentary
Please use the subject line
SUB: Exercise #893/yourname