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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!



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Write an Obama Speech
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Character Sketch
An Article of Clothing
The Truth
Press Release
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Writing in Persona
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Interior Monologue
Body Language
Alternate Ending
Book Cover
Superproduct
Cinquain
Horror Writing
Haiku
Acrostic
Dialogue 3
Dialogue 2
Nanofiction Writing
Writing Without Adjectives
Love Letters
Tanka
Fictional Monologue
Scriptwriting
TV Show Opening Monologue
Alibis
Tritina
Limerick
Minimalism
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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25.8.06
Exercise 3 - Short story from cartoon

The assigned exercise was to choose from two presented cartoons and to write a short story based on the chosen image.  I started writing based on the second choice but soon realized my story wasn't strong enough so I decided to switch to the first one.  The cartoon is shown below.

 

 

The mud-surfer

 

His mother's sarcastic tone kept resonating in Gino Carpio's tangled memory. 

 

"You will never amount to anything". 

 

A frail and slow-witted child born into a poor family, Gino had barely survived his infant years from constant malarial attacks.  The disease-bearing mosquitoes probably got a high from drinking his adventurous blood every night.  Their family, too poor, could not afford a mosquito net much less the dark green aromatic spiral called 'katol' that his more affluent neighbors liked to use.  High in the thin cool air of the Ifugao province, Gino now cursed his condition.

 

Fighting back tears and with shaking shoulders, Gino was strapping his feet onto wooden planks he had stolen from their neighbor's pigsty.  He wasn't doing a particularly good job as he found himself struggling to tighten and retighten his flimsy knots.  Never good with his hands, he had always been spindly and feeble, much like his family's kubo that he was now eyeing over his shoulder from afar.  His mother, he imagined was still seething and blowing steam from their encounter earlier.

 

Though well beyond earshot, he imagined hearing his mother's seething words again and again. 

 

"You will never amount to anything". 

 

The story had all started with a small birdhouse Gino had fashioned out of discarded corrugated cardboard, a few irregular panels of plywood and rusty metal wire.  The birdhouse, if it could be called that, was the ugliest thing he had ever made.  But he had made it himself with little more than an old discarded handle-less knife as his main tool. 

 

Beaming with pride, he had stood the birdhouse on a clear mound behind their house and waited.  For two days with nary a bird in sight.  Gino's patience had run out so he decided to steal their family's hoard of rice to mark trails leading to his creation.  He had theorized that the birds would notice the white kernels glistening on brown earth from the skies and follow the trail and make his birdhouse their home.

 

Alas, his mother discovered the anomaly before Gino could prove his theory.

 

With a sore butt and wounded pride, Gino now dared the world to stop him.  He had reached a snapping point.  Behind him was the rickety house he had lived in all his life.  All around him was dirty pools of water punctuated by small heaps of mud and shit.  In front of him was the smelly butt of their carabao.  What more could he lose in this miserable life. 

 

Now steeling himself for the expected jerk, he fished for the box of 'Rizal' matches to begin his new mission in life.   Gino Carpio now slowly stood tall and proud, still fighting sobs, he looked ahead over the carabao's muddy back to his new horizon.

 

With a swagger and a smooth flick of his finger from a newfound resolve, Gino lighted the fuse.  Gino Carpio is finally on his way. 

 

"I will learn to surf the mud today and be the master of this puddle" 

 

With a loud bang from a cheap firecracker and a sudden painful carabao moan, Gino is suddenly thrust forward to his new future.

 

 

Epilogue:

Gino never learned to surf the mud and be the master of his puddle.  But he now works for iComm surfing the web and is the master of Google.


Posted at 02:29 pm by bisoy

 

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