Friday, September 30, 2011

hard boiled

I recently got an e-mail from my editor-manager-wife. In it was a link to a blog site which offered a 250 word writing exercise based on one sentence. In case you are interested in giving it a try, look here oasis for YA

Most of what I put on this blog has to do with me and my struggles as a father, writer, whatever. Yesterday I blogged about trying to find the courage to put my writing stuff out there for critique and criticism. This particular exercise was perfect for that, plus it came with an additional challenge, to write outside of your comfort zone. My zone of comfort is dialogue. I love to have my characters talk and love reading good dialogue. For me it is like overhearing a juicy conversation on the bus that makes you miss your stop. Accordingly, my writing style I chose this time, included no dialogue.

Here now, for your reading pleasure, is the 250 words I came up with for the exercise noted above, based on the sentence, "The stranger peered over his shoulder, before quickly stepping into the building."


Carson stepped into his manager’s office and fell into the chair next to the window. He closed his eyes and exhaled a deep breath through his dry lips. Fumbling in his jacket pocket with his right hand, he pulled out a pack of cigarettes and shook them gently until one filter was exposed. He gripped the lone cigarette with his lips and pulled the package away from his face. He shoved the package back into his pocket and fumbled again, this time removing a disposable lighter.

The stranger peered over his shoulder, before quickly stepping into the building. Behind him the woman followed. Inside, she shook out her hair and pursed her lips against each other. She kissed the stranger goodbye, leaving lipstick on his cheek. Looking up at the ceiling, she untied the belt of her overcoat and parted the lapels, exposing her bare hips. Gracefully she stepped down the hallway, stopping in the manager’s office doorway.

Carson drew in deeply on the cigarette, his fingers crossed around it while covering his mouth. He exhaled smoke. Then he heard a sound by the door. Assuming it was his manager, he looked over. He stared at the half naked red-head with her left hand on her hip holding her coat open. In her right hand he noticed a revolver. His last thought was, ain't marriage grand.