Ok improved might be pushing it, but after some discussion (Did I say nagging? I didn't say nagging? Why would I say nagging?) with Maus99 it has been decided to re-instate the writing exercises that we used to run.
For the benefit of those of you that weren't around originally the idea is that there is a huge amount of experience and knowledge here in the writing forum and if we share this around we can only improve the way we write.
For those of you who took part before please excuse the fact that some of these will be very similar to the last lot. Hopefully we'll all still enjoy them and come away having learnt something new.
There are a few rules that I'd like everyone to follow. Firstly the whole point of this is to have fun. Please bear that in mind when you are offering any critiques. Also there are no right or wrong answers. This is about you and your writing.
Everything else should become clear as we go along and so I'll start the first exercise.
This one is pretty easy. I want you to describe the room you are sat in. Using no more that 400 words paint a visual picture of your surroundings. Draw us in. Make us feel we are there too. Once we have a few I will give you part two.
Oh, one more thing before I go. In the interests of fairness please don't offer your thoughts on other's pieces until your has been posted.
In the interests of tradition - Get writing my pretty little minions! :D
June 7th, 2005, 06:17 AM
Minions indeed :p
The room is split into two halves, the desk, computer, monitor and wall I'm currently looking at and everything behind my back. About a metre to my right is a brick wall painted white (all the walls in the room are) with some odd dripping design pattern. The wall is 'tastily' covered with baby pictures of my brother and I, we look disturbingly young and cubby (at least he's still ginger mwahaha) To my left, on the outside wall of the house, is a large double glazed window covering the entire width of the wall and looking over our back garden. The garden is very green :D The window is split into a large section, which covers about two thirds of the space and a smaller section, which can be opened. Around the window are a set of large, multi-patterned curtains in a mixture of pale blues and dark, dull reds.
In front of the window, next to the wall, is a dining table made of a dark, polished wood I don't recognise. There are six chairs set around it on the four points of the compass. The N and S chairs have armrests, the two E and two W ones don't. The chairs are comfortable as hell and make me think of eating even more than normal. Behind me at a distance of about two metres is a large semi-circular doorway, no door, that leads into the kitchen. Through the doorway you can see the back wall of the kitchen and some odd Greek plates affixed to the wall. The rest of the wall that divides this room and the kitchen is occupied by a radiator with three green towels on and more baby pictures. The floor is carpeted with a light bluey-purple number that doesn't look as bad as it sounds. Welcome to my cell :D
June 7th, 2005, 06:29 AM
Can I put up my one from last time??
June 7th, 2005, 07:04 AM
Can I put up my one from last time??
Only if you still live there...
Iím sat on a balcony. Itís on the fifth floor of a building in the centre of London. Itís a beautiful day and Iím almost, but not quite, too warm. The chair Iím sat on is one of a set. They are cast iron that has been painted white. They would have been beautiful once Iím sure, but now the rust is beginning to show through the worn paint. They simply look tired. The matching table is strewn with the remains of my lunch; the paper bag my sandwich came in is making a bid for freedom in the gentle wind. To my right the air conditioning units hum endlessly away competing for the first time this year with the summer sun. I can hear the traffic down below but the red brick wall ahead of me is too high for me to anything but the upper floors of the building in front of me.
The newly painted windows gleam in the light making the brickwork look shoddy and the balcony there is empty. Off to my right a tall building stands proudly amongst the squat Victorian and Edwardian roofs, its summit a prickly mass of aerials. A flag flutters in the breeze in the distance. To my left a matching pair of tower blocks dominate the horizon. The windows and balconies all look the same except one that is dominated by two perfectly triangular bright green trees. I look down and for the first time notice that the floor of the balcony has been painted green. The shade of green you might expect on weathered copper. The door behind me opens and one of my colleagues comes to join me.
June 7th, 2005, 07:16 AM
Am pretty sure I never lived in the computer room at Uni!! :p
June 7th, 2005, 07:34 AM
Then you can't use it... :p
June 7th, 2005, 08:59 AM
I sit in a room with bare white walls and a plain beige carpet. The blinds are usually closed, which keeps the sunlight out, but every now and then it finds its way through a crack and a line of light can be spotted on the floor. It wouldnít look like anyone lived here were it not for the scattered paperwork on the corner desk and the scattered clothing on the floor. Everything is simple, to the point. Everything serves a purpose. Everything is efficient. The bed doubles up as a couch to watch TV; the chair in front of the desk is wheeled for mobility between workstations; there is even a single ceiling fan that runs constantly, but that doesnít seem to reduce any of the heat given off by the computers.
June 7th, 2005, 07:08 PM
I am snuggled in my purple pyjamas on a warm brown, leather sofa that stretches almost the full length of the plain cream wall. It could fit three people comfortably but right now itís just me.
A large armchair resides to my left and my dad is sprawled in it, snoring loudly unfortunately. The humming of the computer is a mild counterpoint in comparison. In the opposite corner its twin sits to the left on the other side of the closed double doors that leads to the kitchen - I can just see the shadows of the kitchen table through the doors, as the light is off. This chair is empty except for the imprint of whoever sat in it last.
On the opposite red wall, across from me a dozen photos are scattered along the surfaces of the walls and television, the faces mere smiling blurs at this distance.
A tall black Victorian fireplace stands to attention in the centre of this wall, topped off with a large mirror.
To my right a large wooden pine, coffer lies beneath the only window that emerges from behind two cream, floor-length curtains. The blind is down but the street light outside shines bright - casting striped square shadows onto the blind.
The wooden floor is also shining beneath the glow of a couple of lamps. It makes the room appear cosy and hides the sprinkling of dust on all the little knick-knacks that share space with all those pictures.
Steam drifts in front of me, from a cup of tea, which has just been made, and I can just smell its freshness. However, the dominant smell is of my mamís cigarettes.
So there you go my room and I would invite you in but my dadís snoring would probably make conversation hard! :) :)
June 7th, 2005, 11:00 PM
I canít look at my wife-to-be.
To my left is a chocolate milestone with chocolate icing and milk to wash it down. Iím only days past thirty and I realise as I write this that long ago I left the room that I was born into. I now inhabit the room Iíve built.
Sheís behind a pile of boxes stacked up on a green ironing board bought for 14.99 at the Canadian Superstore. Sheís kneeling on the floor.
As I write, I play an intermittent game of taste and balance. I cut the cake with the side of my fork, making sure to get just enough icing on each piece and then let the sweet chocolate melt on top of my tongue as I mix in just a little bit of milk.
The Tragically Hip are on the radio. I still donít know what Gord is singing about. I know that I have to look up the lyrics and then Iíll understand. Injustice. Escaped criminals. High school job with the clean and scrub union. Iím old enough to remember when all of that was fresh.
The window is open and the evening breeze rustles the blinds. Iím in my kitchen-slash-office. Iím two feet from the white fridge, within reach of my phone, Serwayís Physics for Scientists and Engineers, the Incredible Hulk, and the black beret I earned serving in the army Ė the beret I was wearing the day I saved Chrisís life.
She is sewing her wedding dress.
I am writing.
June 8th, 2005, 12:09 AM
My room is very plain - four white walls, beige carpet and not much decoration. A very large, ugly landscape squats over my blue bed, only somewhat blocked by the hanging grab. Two tall plain brass lamps sit on the bedside tables, their bases half buried in books, loose index cards, tissues and too many boxes and bottles of medicines.
My dresser sits against the opposite wall, near the door. Perched on one corner is my vcr & tv. Iím lucky I can get the scifi channel and adult swim without a cable box. Next to my dresser is my sewing table, now home to a large box fan I call Carl. Heís no ĎFred I.V.í but he doesnít suddenly burst out with Beethovenís Fifth all hours of the day and night either.
Under the window is my computer desk, next to some bookshelves. A window fan keeps me comfortable while I type away and an amber bankerís lamp gives me light.