Saturday, 23 January 2016

Pass It Around: Second Subject

Last month I wrote about a group writing exercise in which we write for 2 minutes on a chosen subject and then pass the writing pad to the next writer for them to continue from where the previous writer left off.

Each person in the group would have their own pad of paper meaning 6 or so stories could be produced at the same time. I've tried to source copies of the other stories with no success so far. The last exercise was about football, which only one person cared about, hence each story devolved into a bitter diatribe about the sport as opposed to an actual story. This time our theme was New Year. Issues with the work: STILL nobody can read each other's handwriting, which means when you continue the story you don't totally know what has already been written. When you're writing to a 2-minute deadline, the temptation is to write as quickly as possible and legibility of writing will be the first thing to go out of the window. Here's what (I think) I've got on my pad:

Mike pulled up the Colornotes app on his Xperia and checked his remaining 2015 goals. Skydive he'd crossed off in June, something he'd not be doing again in a hurry. Of course he had the advantage over me that he knew what it was he'd crossed off, as he could read his own writing so he would be in a better position than me to tell you about it. However, he thought back to those glorious late spring days when he had at last got round to doing it. He remembered clearly, it was pissing it down with rain at the time, and his only objective was not to chicken out- and not to die. The moment on the edge of the plane door was the worst – the earth, vast below, nothing but air all around. The sense of vertigo was all but overhelming. Then a swift shove in the back from the instructor and he was out – on his own, falling.

And the parachute did not open. Whatever on the harness he pulled tugged twisted. He screamed buthis screams were lost in air. There was a lot of it. He looked down- the ground was still so far away.

What to do?

The wind was moving him sideways- not directly down. Was that good? He still He was dropping like a stone or moving sideways. He saw hills, the place he should be landing, but that was way to the right now- there was water.


So. That was the exercise, or what we managed of it. It's a tough task, largely because of handwriting- and we were all struggling with reading everyone's work. But this time we did a much better job of continuing the narrative and sticking to the story without going off on wild tangents.

It was my intention to source other versions of both the football story and the new year story, texts that we had contributed to as a group, so that I could upload them here and we could look at the differences and similarities. Still waiting for Writers Connect to email me!

Fittingly, today is National Handwriting Day in America. Parts of the UK have recognised it too- check out The Telegraph's very dubious handwriting quiz.

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