I am going to do something a little different in this blog post. I don’t know if it is going to work out the way I hope it will, but here goes nothing! I am going to post a writing exercise. I am going to do the writing exercise myself and post those results as well, and then ask any of you to do the same. Perhaps post it on your blog and link to it in the comments section so I can read all of your wonderful stories! If not, well you get a sample of my own writing which I hope you all will enjoy.
Here is the exercise:
In 500 words or less describe a character that is stuck inside a situation that is beyond uncomfortable for them. Show how they react to the situation, and what they do to cope (If at all). The aim here is to be super specific in the details and flesh out a character. You do not have to have a full scene, just a taste of the character. You don’t need to reveal every aspect of them, just hint at what they may become. (This is to show the value of ‘bite sized’ portions.)
The walls of the sand cruiser rattled as heavy treads tore through the desert dunes like they were nothing. Metal plating rose around Jack like some sort of demented rust colored prison. He hated tight spaces. He hated how he could hear and feel the breath of every living thing inside the vehicle; he counted in total six other men, and a god damned dog to top it off. Not that he hated dogs in their own right; this one just wouldn’t stop its incessant whining. The sound made his teeth hurt. Perhaps that was just the bouncing of the vehicle? He couldn’t really tell anymore. He also hated the blistering heat that would get trapped inside the iron sarcophagus and linger in his bones. Sweat clung to him like a roll of sticky tape.
The man to his left leaned in and tugged a pack of cigarettes out of his chest piece with a glove covered hand. He held the pack out to Jack with a grunt, and asked, “Want one, bub?”
Jack shook his head and waved his hand in dismissal. Smoking wasn’t his thing, he quit over a decade ago. He leaned back in his seat and loosened the strap of his combat rifle so it hung slack against his body. It eased some tension, not much though.
“Suit yourself.” The man lit the cigarette with a match and puffed on it. The smoke gathered in the space above their heads and hovered in a cloud.
Jack wrinkled his nose and tugged his communicator out of his pants pocket and clicked it to life. It was such a disgusting habit really; Jack didn’t care if you were going to commit self-harm, but a harmful habit that affected those around you was beyond rude. The screen on his communicator showed a logo of a dancing bear briefly before shifting into menus and text boxes. He ran his thumb over a missed call icon. “Mom,” the display said. He sighed and clicked the device off and shoved it back into his pocket.
Today was going to be a long day. Just like any other though, he supposed.