Seeing as some of my more recent posts have all been in the humorous vein, I thought I would share an exercise from one of my former college classes. The point of the exercise was to use cliches to humorous. Anything could be cliche–the plot, the narrative, the prose, the utilization of overused phrases, anything. This is what I produced in the spring of 2009.
John and Martha were considered an item. One evening they were together in their favorite restaurant. The fact was that John had recently uncovered that he was gay, and was trying to think of a way to let Martha know, who was still in blissful ignorance. He also had to tell her his boss had permanently laid him off, though he was hoping the news of his playing for the other team might make that occurrence less pressing for her.
This is an old exercise I found on my computer. This was another product of Cousin Hugo’s, where we were to describe an animal. I thought it would be appropriate for my upcoming exercises in description, which will be posted tomorrow and on Wednesday, May 25. Enjoy!
Its noise doesn’t come from the padded feet—no, its noise resonates deep within the chamber of its body, a low rumble of pleasure.
It views the world with acute crescent eyes.
Its fur glides the same way it moves, so smooth and so soft it’s almost as if there’s nothing beneath it.
It carries no distinct smell, yet its presence can cause the eyes to itch, the throat to burn, the nose to run—all by mere wisps of that smooth and silent fur.
It stalks, and it has no pity for its victims. Sharp claws and sharp little white teeth are the last things the prey feel being racked across the body. And then it is darkness.
This is the creative project I did for a Point of View class I took my junior year of college. This is the same class where I was originally assigned the Genesis exercise. This project was supposed to utilize everything I’d learned about point of view to tell a story. This is a rewrite of Hansel and Gretel, using multiple first person narrators (which is really a big no-no, but I wanted to try it out) to retell this fairy tale in a new light.
I’m posting this exercise now because it will be a nice bridge between the four parts of my “Genesis” post, and the exercise which I’ll post this Sunday. Both exercises originally came from the same class. “Genesis” was a retelling of an older, popular story using multiple first-person narrators, as is this project. The post to come on Sunday shares a different trait with this project, which I hope you all find interesting, if nothing else.
I tried being nice to them, but they wouldn’t have that. They were very cruel to me, those kids. I can’t wonder if my husband might have been made a cuckold by his first wife, because neither Hansel nor Gretel possess his generosity.
We all live together, in a little cabin right by the forest—my husband is a woodcutter. The woods are so beautiful, just an endless depth of green and shadow. Sometimes, during sunrise (I’m always the first one up) there’s pollen in the air, and when the sunlight hits it, it reflects light like its own glow. It’s like watching pixies dance, beckoning you closer. Those mornings, when I had all the enchantment to myself, were sometimes all I had to look forward to in my life.
Recently, I’ve been making weekly posts with different POV’s for the story of Genesis. These exercises were based on an old class exercise. I thought I would share the original exercise.
Look for Genesis-Part 3 this Sunday!
Before you go and blame me for the fall of mankind, please consider that because of this fall, we are able to rise. Perhaps you personally would like to have been born into that spiritual neutrality known as Eden, but believe me when I say that you would not be half the person you are now if that were so.