Site contents copyright 2004-2007 Michelle Hakala except where otherwise noted.

NaNo 2006 Winner
Exercise #232

Exercise #232: Craft
Posted 10/5/07

Today’s exercise was prompted by Song’s Homework post for Week 1 of the recent SPA Training. (Thanks, Song!) In her post, she had:
“Jake, gray haired companion, grasps her elbow-- his other hand, clasping a rumpled fedora to his head.”

Song's fedora describes this guy's nationality. His hair tells us he is an older gentleman. Even his name tells us something. We’ve explored word choice before (in Exercise #28), and today I want to revisit that theme.

For today’s exercise, use the following paragraph and liven it up. Use descriptive words like fedora to tell us who this is and anything else possible about the character without saying, “This character is an old Frenchman on the Riviera.” This piece is not meant to be a whole story, only a chance to help the reader identify who these people are, where they are, what’s happening, and perhaps give us a glimpse of plot. You do not need to keep it in the same format, but the information in your piece should be recognizable here. For an added challenge, do it twice, giving us a totally different setting in the second one.

Paragraph to revise (99 words):
The woman stood on a street corner. The wind alternated between pushing her jacket tight against her body and pulling it out to the left. She held a small purse as if it would get away. Next to her stood a man, hat held tightly onto his head, coat buttoned to his neck. His other hand held an umbrella. They spoke together softly, their words barely audible over the wind. Behind them, a building shielded them from the setting sun. A light shone in an upstairs window, revealing parts of an office and an occasional moving shadow. Transportation arrived.

Also, please note the shorter word limit on this exercise.

Word limit: 300 each time
Please use the subject line
    SUB: Exercise #232/yourname

Back to:

[The Desk Drawer] [Exercise Menu] [Exercises By Type] [Exercises By Number] [Archived Exercises 1-50] [Archived Exercises 51-100] [Archived Exercises 101-150] [Archived Exercises 151-200] [FAQ] [Site Map] [Members' Links] [Members' Desks] [Contact Us] [About Us] [Privacy Policy] [Writer's Links] [We Support] [Donations]