Tuesday, January 04, 2011

A Writing Exercise

This is a 15-sentence, one-paragraph portrait, a popular writing exercise developed by the late Wendy Bishop. Think of a person you know, and this exercise will focus on them. First, for the title, pick either a color or emotion that represents this person to you. You won’t mention the person by name in this story. Begin your first sentence, with one of these phrases:

You stand there …
No one is here …
In this (memory, dream, photograph [choose any one]), you are . . .
I think sometimes..
Then, follow these rules for the next 14 sentences.
2: Write a sentence with a color in it.
3: Write a sentence with a part of the body in it.
4. Write a sentence with a simile.
5. Write a single sentence [no joining of two or more sentences by a semi-colon or by coordinating conjunctions] of exactly 25 words.
6. Write a sentence of exactly eight words.
7. Write a sentence with a piece of clothing in it.
8. Write a sentence with a wish in it.
9. Write a sentence with an animal in it.
10. Write a sentence in which three or more words of the same part of speech [nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs] alliterate.
11. Write a sentence with two and only two commas properly/normally used.
12. Write a sentence with a smell in it.
13. Write a sentence that could carry an exclamation point (!), a sentence that you might normally put an exclamation point in, but do not use the exclamation point.
14. Write a sentence that connects in some way to the first line.
15. Write a sentence to end this portrait that uses the exact word you chose for the title.

You stand there in an empty darkness that you don't even realize. The deep cavern of hollowness makes me think of your soul as the color black. Your heart is deceived from real Truth. Like that of a hungry lion rushing to a snare filled with choice meat, you're so easily enticed by foolishness and folly. Though Wisdom patiently awaits, perhaps even nudges a time or two, your hardened heart is disconnected with no response to the life Light can bring. If you only knew that Light is life. The veil would be lifted and you would truly SEE! How I wish you knew this life-changing Light. The Light of the world is the true Lamb of God, his name is Jesus. Jesus is mighty and magnificent, yet merciful. His grace, freely given, is humbling. His friendship is refreshing like the smell of linens hung out to dry or clean mountain air. How He longs to know YOU. But sadly the darkness is too comfortable, the Light too good to be True. Yes, black is the color I think of when I think of you. 


Crystal said...

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Sarah O'Brien said...

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paul howley said...

Very nicely written! Thanks for sharing it with us...Paul

Star said...

That was a brilliant exercise and a strangely moving piece of writing. I think you carried out Wendy's exercise really well; as tempted as I am to try it, I doubt I could do as well! Like Paul said - thanks for sharing that with us.