For a recent writing exercise, Oz brought in a dictionary. She picked a random page and asked for a number between 1 and 4. We picked 3, hence the third column of text. Next she asked for a number between 1 and 10. We picked 5, hence the fifth word down. Our word, fittingly for a writers' group, was “Publish”. This was our prompt for a 10-minute writing exercise. Here's what I managed:
It started as a joke blog- just him in the Student Village flat commenting on what drunk women he'd seen arguing or which road sign had been stolen. It wasn't an anonymous blog, but he hadn't linked it to social media so none of the other students knew anything about it.
Then he started uploading photos, noticing a weird popularity in the States. He'd named the university, the building, the initials of the people involved. The time “TS” got arrested for having a bag of weed on him and the officers thought he'd progress on to coke if he ever made it into the media industry. The part-time lap dancers on his course claiming they'd made £500 in a night (their dress sense backed it up).
He started to get some intriguing Twitter followers, including the Student Union and Greater Manchester Police. The comments flowed in, mostly from other students and sometimes those he knew. Each comment had a guess in it. Are you this guy? Are you that? Sometimes people thought he was a girl.
With each click of the “publish” button, the net closed in.
Who would it be? How could he keep himself anonymous? He took one more trip to town with his cameraphone, standing across the street from PanAsia.
So. Just as the story was getting somewhere, the timer buzzed. At least I got the key word included. I was going to have a situation where something happened that risked his anonymity, but I couldn't think / write fast enough. I'm planning on learning shorthand soon, which should combat this.