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I decided to organize a weekly creative writing exercise in the office to sharpen the skills of the writing pool. Everyone takes a turn inventing an exercise or a prompt.

The only general rule we've been using is that it should be doable in an hour or so. We've also tried to keep things fun.

Please feel free to share your own exercise efforts by leaving a comment. You can do that at the end of each exercise by clicking on 'Share your own effort'. Enjoy!

Writing Exercises Quick Links
Write an Obama Speech
Wordlplay, Anagram as Inspiration
Strictly Dialogue
Character Sketch
An Article of Clothing
The Truth
Press Release
Creative Description
Paired Fiction Writing
Connecting Ideas
Writing in Persona
Point of View
Interior Monologue
Body Language
Alternate Ending
Book Cover
Horror Writing
Dialogue 3
Dialogue 2
Nanofiction Writing
Writing Without Adjectives
Love Letters
Fictional Monologue
TV Show Opening Monologue
Short Story, Object as Narrator
Speech Writing
Tongue Twister
Suspense and Emotion
Describe and Compose
Poetic Confession
Application letter
Essays of Absurdities
Dialogue with Self
Imaginative Writing
Short Story from Cartoon
Five Random Words
Letter of Complaint

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Exercise 29 - Horror Writing

I hosted the exercises this week.  Before I posted the instructions, i gathered suggestions for a setting.  Here's what I gathered:


Bisoy  -  Inside the international space station in orbit

Mark - A lansiao eatery beside a vasectomy clinic.

Guile - Inside a witchcraft laboratory at Witchcraft University..

Luida - Inside the ferry's wheel near a cemetery

Jovir -  Inside a tightly packed MRT (with no aircon) one blistering morning.

Tomas Inside the footlocker room of iComm.


Certainly very telling of the varied personalities here.  Below is the exercise instruction.  I should point out that I ended up not using the setting I suggested.


I used to be a big fan of Stephen King and remember how engrossed I was by his books such as Christine, The Stand, and Pet Sematary.  I lost my appetite for King's horror when I read his Gerald's Game, the absolute worst novel I remember having read right up to the end.  I hated the horror genre ever since.  Our exercise today is partly an attempt to exorcise my fear of the horror genre. 


The challenge is simple.  Using (any of the settings suggested, preferably your own) as setting, write a fictional piece at 500 words maximum with only one basic requirement the piece should scare the reader.


Below is my untitled work.

Push or be pushed.  That's the mindset I adopt in MRT cabs, like the one I was boarding this morning. I shove aside the sweating body of a stooped figure in front of me and give scant attention to the disapproving stares thrown my way.  That seat is mine, I declared silently with a determined stride and angry eyes.  I dropped my weight on the seat to punctuate my victory.  The stooped figure turned out to be an old frail woman.  Lola had slow feet but a quicker tongue and was now cursing me.  I turned to look away. 


The cab continued to fill until the doors suddenly close with a hiss.  Almost immediately, bodies lurch backward in unison as the train starts to crawl.  I catch a glimpse of the tracks outside the rear window bathed in the early morning glow now slowly drifting away.  I turn to look directly across my seat.  Lola is still seething.  I still ignored her.  I looked over beyond the opposite track at the southbound crowd waiting in the other platform.  Trains are never more than ten minutes away. 


Suddenly, right in front of me, a bright light flashes then glass explodes.  Searing orange gas billows through the windows.  The sudden heat slams me violently against my seat.  Now a loud metallic screech screams from under the floor.  The train halts and flings us all forward into nothingness. 


I wake up suddenly and find myself coughing violently.  I feel numb and heavy.  I push myself off the floor squinting through a thick warm moist.  I glimpse my hands covered in soot.  I wipe my eyes against my sleeve to clear my view and find it now smeared in red.  I was bleeding and badly burned.  A sharp pain was coming through my ears still ringing. 


I found an opening and struggled to get through.  It took me forever to move the few feet to the edge of where the floor seemed to end.  I tried to scream but manage only a choked cough.  My throat was burned.  A hand pulls me from under.  I lose my balance and fall over the edge.  The world around me flips violently upside down and I land hard on the tracks on my back.


The landing kills all the pain in a single instant.  I feel nothing.  All the pain now gone.  My mind races.  I can't move!  The realization creeps on me like the noise now slowly increasing.  A noise that was now building up and cutting through the ringing in my ears.  Two piercing eyes stare at me.


It is Lola.  Glassy and mute, her eyes still seethed at me.  I deserved this, she seemed to be saying.  This terror.  A death reserved for heartless strangers we had all become.


The noise picks up.  The cold hard track behind my head rattles and the darkened gravel shakes.  I can hear screeching metal in the distance.  The southbound train!  It's about time.

Posted at 07:06 pm by bisoy


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