Elements of the Writing Craft. Part One, Lesson Eleven: Daily Drama

Ref: Pages 17 and 18 of the text by Robert Olmstead

1. Remember a situation where someone you cared about was suddenly injured or suddenly discovered he’d injured someone else. Rewrite the beginning of the quote. Use the following frame:

“I (threw it without looking), “ (Lawrence ) said sorrowfully as (he/she) (ran up) and ( knelt beside his brother). Then I heard (him/her) (howl). “ (You hit me in the eye! )”

2. Continue with the second movement, the one that references but does not tell all that followed. You can change the subject matter or actually continue with exercise one. Use the following frame:

It was more than (the accident ) and the (mistake ) that carried me (into a panic). It was the memory of (my younger brother ) in the (ambulance ) inside (the emergency room ), while… (they stitched his lip closed. That time the accident wasn’t my fault.)

3. Now either combine exercises one and two or complete them separately. “I threw it without looking,”  Lawrence said sorrowfully as he ran up and knelt beside his brother. Then he heard him howl, “You hit me in the eye!” He said clutching his face in both hands. It was more than the accident and the mistake that carried Lawrence into a panic. It was the memory of two years earlier, his younger brother in the ambulance, inside the emergency room, while they stitched his lip closed. That time it wasn’t his fault. 

4. Move to fiction. In exercises one, two, and three you were working with real events. Do the same exercises again with made-up events.

“I pulled too hard,” Eoghan said sorrowfully as he grimaced at the knotted rope and wiped the blood from his hound’s muzzle. Then he heard him yelp. “His tooth has come loose!” It was more than the trickle of blood and the sound of ripping tooth and gum that carried him into a frenzy. It was the memory of the time he got caught in the fence, tangled inside the twisted hazel, while he heard him howl in pain . Eoghan searched frantically. The last time Eoghan found and freed him, this time Lucian was hurt, and it was his fault.

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