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Friday, January 6, 2012

Scene Storming

When I get really stuck, as I was yesterday, I scene storm.  Using a word, or in this case, a set of words, I try to write around them.  I’m happy to say, it almost always works.


I pulled today’s inspiration from Dancing with the Gorilla by Darnell Arnoult.   Historically, the author has offered weekly scene storming prompts.  It’s been a while since she’s updated, but if you go to past posts, you’ll find other suggestions designed to get you writing.  

Today’s words were:  Head, drive, ridges, reach, body, ground, voice, fog, refugee, sleep and here’s what I came up with:

Fog floated like a trail of refugees, weaving threads through bare fingered bushes.  It glided over ridges and congealed in the middle of the winter gray pond.  Water lapped a rhythm to the slap of sneakered feet on wet ground.  Ducks muttered back-up to her measured breaths, the swish of the borrowed nylon jacket, its wet hood spanking her back.  

Alongside the road, strands of bittersweet climbed from beds of composting leaves.   Their lethal tendrils wrapped around high limbs, screening the entrance to the woods with a ropy tangle.  Years ago, she and Ashley had created forts and shelters behind those thick curtains, unaware the creeping plants shading them from adult eyes pulled at tall branches with a pressure that weakened the trees, before yanking them to their knees.  

She hadn’t known when she’d woken from her restless sleep this morning she could still run this far, that she’d reach the bend in the drive marking their childhood shelter.  In the beginning, she and Ashley had pulled rusted beach chairs and an old milk crate underneath the gauze of vines.  Grandmother’s tattered tablecloths served as capes, sarongs, and the turbans they wrapped around their heads. They were older when Robert arrived in town.  Not long after, the hiding place provided an invisible spot to cough down the whiskey he’d pilfered from his father’s stash.

He’d come upon them unexpectedly that first time, in unlaced canvas high-tops covered in mud, his gold and white striped shirt ripped at the shoulder. She and Ashley had been talking, giggling really, about how Thomas Rodomont had kissed Ashley the day before, when something in the woods behind them cracked.   Ashley had screamed, her voice a bird cry on a still night when she’d seen Robert, his angled body slouching against a fat oak behind them, his hands stuffed into the pockets of his cut-off shorts.
 
He’d given them a long stare.  Then he’d run his fingers through his mop of hair, cocked his head, pushed off his resting place and sauntered toward them.  

Happy Weekend All!

14 comments:

Tonja said...

That's a good idea. When I'm stuck in the middle of a first draft, I write whatever I am trying to say without being too artistic about it so I can keep moving. Maybe that's why my first drafts are ugly.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Never thought of doing that. And your piece is so descriptive and vivid!

Anne Gallagher said...

That was Fabulous! Great idea. I wish I was smaht like you.

Catherine Denton said...

Wow, beautiful writing with so few prompts. I like this idea because I always tend to write better with limits.
Catherine Denton

Wine and Words said...

Wow! That sure DID work! A beautiful bit of writing. There's an app like that on my iPhone for poetry. Gives you a set of words for the day that you can drag into a sentence or whatever to get the ball rolling!

jbchicoine said...

Now, there's a great start! What a hook! Gosh your writing is pretty...as always...

Jan Morrison said...

Your piece pulled me in completely - I demand to know more!!!!
the long-standing writing group I was with was called word exchange - we would do all sorts of things to get going but our basic technique was to write some words on bits of paper - pull them out and get writing. I wrote almost a whole novel prompted from the word giraffe.
sure hope this is a novel because it sure could be...love that the fog floated like a trail of refugees - already I'm hooked.

Old Kitty said...

Oh dear!! Ashley doesn't seem happy and who could blame him! Yikes!!

What a great way to get all inspired and writing beautifully! Well done you! take care
x

Lost_without_a_Map said...

Okay...I'm lost. (I'm no writer, so a bunch of this stuff flies over my head.) How do you come up with the words? Then, what? You make other words around those words? And this works when you are at a loss for words? I want to try it (once I understand it - I think this will help me with the A-Z Challenge). Thank you.

kathrynmagendie said...

I believe in whatever works for a person/writer/you, works! So full steam ahead - write write write! :-D

Helen Ginger said...

ooh, this needs to be continued!

Kittie Howard said...

Gave you a shout-out on my post today.

Mary Mary said...

I've never heard of scene storms, but I gotta tell you that I think I like it!

Emma Lauren said...

I've never heard of scene storms, either, but it certainly seems like an effective way to get the juices flowing. Nice job. I really enjoyed what you came up with. :) Why did it end? Haha.