Monday, August 1, 2011

Writing in medias res: Stefanie Freele's sprinting exercise, part 2

In last week's post on Stefanie Freele's workshop, starting fiction in medias res, I described a writing exercise, followed by my free write sample. Here's another "sprint," as she called them--

a) Choose an active verb (cries, slams, grinds, stutters, teases). Combine it with a character or pronoun, followed by several sentences. Stay in present tense for the action:
She slams the door. Selfish fucking bastard, she thinks. As soon as her body sinks into the mattress, the tears come, stinging the corners of her eyes. She dabs at them with a tissue from the box she keeps by the bed.
b) Insert some back story with 2 sentences, starting with "Something about this image reminds her..."
Something about this image reminds her of Mimi in La Boheme. Was it when Rudolfo revealed his love for her? Or when she realized it was too late?
c) Continue the story with more action:
 She refuses to let the sobbing begin. She must make dinner for the kids, having promised spaghetti. But they won't be getting dessert tonight.

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