Right. I’m going to admit it. I’m a massive cliche.
I studied English Literature, I work in publishing, and I’m a blogger. And I write. Fiction.
But let’s give it a go, ok?
Inspired by Hannah of Hannah Reads Stuff and Christa of A Voluptuous Mind, I have had a snoop around writingexercises.com for, well, writing exercises. I used to write a lot, but haven’t since becoming a Busy Adult, and I’m trying to get back into it.
Writing Exercises gives you many, many options for prompts to get you going. I chose the Random Image Prompt this time. This is the image I got:
And this is what I did with it:
So there she was. Stuck. Sitting in a café by the water, staring at boats and wondering which of them would give her a ride for the, oh, three cents in her purse? She’d spent her last euro on a coffee, which she was both enjoying and regretting, and she could do nothing at that moment but sit there, and wait. Wait for what? Something, anything to happen, to reverse the past, to erase the mistakes; to wash everything clean with fairy dust and make the world so much better.
She longed for her bed in England. She thought about the cat, being fed by the neighbours but wandering alone through the house. She would have done anything at the moment for Kitty to jump up into her lap. She wanted to feel the soft warmth of the cat wriggling around to get comfortable, the way she did when she was sleepy and full. To hear the little mews as her ears were tickled. The only cats here were stray ones, unfriendly things with wary eyes. They wouldn’t let her go near them.
Alone. Alone, alone, alone. The word bounced off the walls of her brain like a ball, every thud producing an echo louder than the last. She lifted her legs from the scratchy wicker of her chair and looked around her at the rest of the cafe. There was a waitress inside cleaning tables, a couple ordering at the bar, and the only people outside with her were two girls sitting in the shade drinking juice and looking hungover. She looked back out to the water, and the bridge, and the boats bobbing about. She could go anywhere if she wanted – it was only money that was stopping her. Maybe she could earn some? Work in a cafe like this one and get back into life? But this wasn’t her country, this wasn’t England or France. This was some godforsaken island off the coast of Spain, somewhere beautiful and yet utterly useless to her. All she could do was wait. Because that was the plan.
They had eventually agreed it would be best this way, less complicated. There was something to be said for doing it this way. To be honest he’d had to persuade her a bit. His determination to do it this way caused a pang in her heart, a feeling of abandonment; but really it was the fear of going it alone, of having no one else to ask or to fall back on. It was just up to her and she’d just have to deal with it. And he’d had to do the same thing too, but he obviously felt better about it because it was his idea. Oh, it was useless going over and over all this in her head – it had already happened, there was nothing she could do about it, and she was here now anyway, waiting in this bloody cafe drinking the last of a cold coffee. The last of her supplies, her riches, her sustenance. Nothing for it but to wait for more from him. Not coffee though – life.
I would say that’s almost a short story. Maybe I could add more… but that amount feels right for now.
Have you ever used Writing Exercises or anything similar? Has it worked for you in the long term and helped your writing? This is the first time I’ve used it so curious to know whether it’s worth sticking with. And also please feel free to share your writing! Let’s all wear black and talk about our writerly issues.
8 thoughts on “An Experiment”
This is lovely. So glad you have found Writing Exercises, it’s been quite inspiring for me! Interested to read more and enjoying have a rummage through your blog 😀 x
Thank you! It’s a great website and a great idea, and I’m definitely going to be using it more.
This is FANTASTIC! It is uttely perfectly paced and I agree it doesn’t need any more – but BOY! Do I want to know more! xxx
That really makes me smile, thank you Hannah. I think writing – and sharing your writing – can be really scary, so it’s great to get encouragement. It’s also great to see other bloggers writing about writing and sharing their work too. I’m definitely going to keep going!
Yeah, it has taken me years to a) get bloody on with it and b) realise that writing doesn’t have to end up in a book to be valid. It is so massively scary putting stuff out there, but knowing you have done so is its own reward. I really look forward to reading what you come up with next! 🙂 xx
Thank you Hannah! I look forward to reading more of your work as well 🙂
Really enjoyed reading this Lizzi! It’s a great story, and I’m certainly left wanting to know more about the character… I haven’t used writing prompts in a while, but they can be really helpful. Maybe I should try them again!
Thank you Gemma. I’ve never used them before this except at school, and I was surprised how well they worked. They are very good for when you ‘feel like writing’ but don’t have an idea at the front of your mind.