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Creative Writing 4

September 2, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

This isn’t so much a story as it is a…well to be honest I’m not sure what I’d call it.

Story 4

There’s an episode of the U.S. version of The Office, where Michael Scott is shown at his improv group. Michael’s way of approaching improv is that the most outlandish scenario is always the funniest. In every skit he’s a part of he finds a way to make it so that he has a gun and is arresting everyone else, effectively ruining any and every sketch and anything his skit-mates may be trying to accomplish.

I’ve discovered that I have a similar approach to writing exercises.

I recently stumble’d across webook’s 911 Writer’s Block, which offers a number of writing exercise ideas in different categories, such as: settings, characters, dramatic entrances, dialogue, endings, and a couple others. After having a good time pushing the various buttons, I started doing some writing from them. Or, rather, I tried to do some writing from them.

I discovered that I couldn’t actually write anything based off of the exercises, but I did find new and unique ways to totally undermine the exercises. For my first bit of writing, I chose the settings option. Here is what I was given:

A wedding chapel in Las Vegas at 8 a.m. on a Sunday. An old man is asleep in the rear pew, a blood-soaked bandage on his left hand.

And here’s what I did with it:

The Owner of the chapel noticed the old man and approached him.

“Mister, you can’t sleep here. I’ve got a business to run,” the owner said, slightly shaking the old man. The old man started, then looked up at the owner. He smiled.

Gil Reznik was awakened by a nearby explosion. He tried shaking away the sleep by taking stock of his surroundings. He was still in the bunker and still had his platoon with him. He stood up and looked out into the blackness of the battlefield. Two hundred yards away, a twisted mass of steel jutted out of the soft ground. The damn Zaxnars where bombing again and sending out reconnaissance mines. He looked down at his protonics rifle, and made sure that it was fully charged. The swarm would be coming soon. He thought briefly about the dream he had just had. “What was that about?” he wondered aloud. No use making a big deal about it, though, he would forget about the whole thing soon enough.

You see what I did there? At the time I started seriously to question the validity of 911 writer’s block as a useful tool. What’s the point of using these writing exercises if I arrive at such a contrived and trite plot?

Despite my misgivings, I gave it another shot. I decided to go with dramatic entrances next.

An art opening at a lavish downtown gallery. A car crashes through the plate glass window. The driver’s door opens, and an eight-year-old girl steps out.

Here’s what I came up with.

The girl dazedly looked around at the destruction she had just caused. She opened her mouth-

Vic Slater turned off the T.V. This show was stupid, and besides, it was time to go to work.

“C’mon, man, we need to personify ourselves.” Vic threw his partner a tattered black suit coat.

“You got your claymore?” Andre asked, putting on the coat. Vic opened up his own black suit coat showing off his 9mm, the handgun of champions. They went out to the car, where some long-forgotten 70’s funk song blasted from the radio.

“Hey, man. Who’s hotter, Mary Jane or Gwen Stacy? Andre asked.

“Mary Jane, fo sho.”

“Whaaaa”

“Redheads, man, redheads are hot.” Vic licked his lips.

“You buggin’ out, man. You ever read the original comics? Mary Jane was all beatniky and shit. She was annoying as hell to have around. Gwen Stacy was a college girl, who was smart but not too smart.”

“Whatever, man. Anyways, we’re here. Let’s go in there and kill these guys, then we can go get some breakfast and talk about Gunsmoke or some shit and how it relates to our current lifestyle predicament.”

That one was even worse than the first. “We need to personify ourselves” Who the fuck talks like that? And hit men? How 1996.  Again, my attempt at writing a story based off of a concept from the website had utterly failed. This wasn’t going well.

I decided to put writing on hold for a day, and give it one more chance. I tried dramatic entrances again.

An attic room. A man sits at his desk, staring at a blank sheet of
paper. A red patent-leather stiletto flies through the open window and
lands on the floor with a thud.

Here’s what I came up with.

The man gets up from the desk and walks towards the stiletto. He stares down at it a moment before picking it up, a small smile slowly spreading across his face. He walks to the window and looks down. The dress was red, and way too short. It revealed long legs, and an occasional gust of wind would reveal even more. The lipstick matched the dress. A cross between the color of a ripe tomato and a firetruck. The hair was long and blond and blew playfully in the wind. The hair matched a thick handlebar mustache. She was by far, the prettiest cross dresser the man had ever seen.

A gruff voice rang out from the crossdresser who was now minus a shoe, “Do you mind if I come up, or are you coming down?”

The man took one last long look at the cross dresser before she and the whole scene shimmered and vanished, replaced by grey walls.

“Captain! Captain!” an ensign rushed into the holodeck. “A Klingon ship is approaching and hailing us.”

Picard sighed, putting aside the memory of the cross dresser in red. “C’mon, Ricky. Let’s go fuck up some Klingons,” he said putting his arm around the ensign and walking out of the room.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, and I was thinking it too. Star Trek? Transvestites? I had hit pay dirt, baby!

From now on, I”m using 911 writers block all the time.

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