Thursday, July 11, 2013

Writing Exercises 4

Since my writers group had gone through the basic elements of a scene's structure, its beginning, middle and end. We moved on to chapter 7 in Make a Scene by Jordan E. Rosenfeld, a writing book you should check out, on character motivation and development. There were several aspects of character motivation and development that should be included in every scene. Some of these include the motivation from personal history, intention the character has in the scene and making the end of the scene either more or less complicated.

Scene information: Write a story about a girl named Susi (or however you want to spell it) who is going skydiving and include all the elements of character development.

In this one I focused on making it More Complicated.

The rumble of the plane's duel engines shook every atom of Susi's body and the roar of the wind from the open door made her both deaf and blind. Clutching her phone tightly she almost snapped it in half when her instructor, a dark-haired 19-year-old guy tapped her should and pulled the strap of her goggles. She quickly slipped them on and rushed a panicked hand over her hair for any lumps. The guy gave her a thumbs up and began tightening the straps that connected her to him and him to the parachute.

A lurch of wind made the plane bounce and Susi fell back onto him, but he didn't seem to notice. She wondered if he was dating anyone, then she quickly shoved the thought out. Even though it wasn't official yet she fully expected to go to the prom with Logan. Something she'd been waiting six grades for and never thought would come true until he noticed her doing a flip on the bleachers.

"Wow, you're adventurous!" he'd said and he'd say it again when he saw these pictures she'd take with her phone.

The plane jerked even worse and then one of the engines puttered. An alarm flashed in the back of the plan. The guy patter her should and motioned that he had to talk to the pilot. Susi shook her head. They were so close. But he unhooked himself anyway. He hadn't gone two steps when one of the engines caught fire. The bump threw Susi into the wall and her instructor was sucked out the open door.

Scene information: Write a story about a boy named Karlheinz who is stuck in a tree and include all the elements of character development.

In this one I focused on making it Less Complicated.

Going up the pine tree had been much easier for 12-year-old Karlheinz than it was gong down. His fingers were coated in drying sap and stuck to the branches when he didn't want them to. Carefully he reached out with his leather dress shoes searching for the branch he'd seen, but he couldn't find it. His arms shook from the strain but his other shoe slipped on the loose bark.

With sweat dripping into his eyes he pulled himself up onto the bigger branch and rested with one arm around the thinning trunk. It'd been a mistake to wear his dress shoes and now he was stuck.

This was all Frau. Shubbert's fault. She'd told him the answer to his father's identity was at the top of the pine tree. He'd ran straight tot he tree and leaped from branch to branch until he'd reached the top, but his father's name was not there. Karlheinz wasn't sure what he expected but there was no treasure box or plaque. Nothing that would give him the closure he wanted. A name. Was it really to much to ask?

His fingers tightened against the bark, but as they did he felt a smooth section of bark, not at all the crumbly pine bark he expected. Finding strength he didn't think he had he pulled himself around to the other side. There in the center of a warn but deeply etched heart were the names Karl and Louisa. Louisa was his mother's name. His heart began to beat faster. His father was named Karl. Just like he was. The burden he'd carried for so long slipped away and he knew he could go home.

Your turn. Write the same scene and then toy with the development of your characters and making the elements of the scene either more or less complicated.

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