Elements of the Writing Craft. Part One, Lesson Nine: Reporting in NonFiction

Ref: Pages 14 and 15 of the text by Robert Olmstead

1.Rewrite the lesson and make up locations, places, states, and cities.

Create a structure to put your character on such as a bridge, a dam, or skyscraper; make up dimensions and your character’s perceptions of those dimensions. 

2.How do you have a character tell his feeling in his own words? You just do it. Briefly describe a character and then launch him into his own feelings in dialogue.

3. Description of the structure by the numbers. Show dimensions, weight, distance from another location.

Segberg threw his bundle into the dinghy, wobbled a bit as he got in, then set his back into the oars. He crossed the open water of Lake Dathuil, racing alongside the 200 feet of Dearg bridge. He ran ashore and turned toward South Gate, never offering a backward glance. “That wicker idol had to be fifty feet high and twenty feet across at the base,” he recalled years later, on a ship bound for Foalinn. He sat up in his hammock and stared at the ship’s hull. “First they stuffed the thing up to its ankles with kindling, and loaded the livestock into it by ramp. I didn’t stick around to find out what they were going to do with the ones robed in white.” He scowled and chewed his lip, “They paid me ten silver in advance to weave hundreds of ornate jugs into the frame. They were filled with all manner of things, fancy things. Gold and jewels like I’d never seen. Just sealed up and strapped in. Wine and axes and good strong tools, all woven into that idol . Two couples, two men and two women and one boy, all dressed in white. And five strong bulls. I thought I’d be next. They didn’t look like the type to ask for volunteers. I jumped in the first empty boat I could find and never turned back. I can twist hazel with the best, I’ll find work somewhere else.”

Leave a Reply