Write on Wednesday – The One Liner

The Write On Wednesday Rules: Get creative with the writing exercises – there isn’t a right or wrong. Please do try to visit the other members of Write On Wednesdays and leave a comment. You can grab the button for Write On Wednesdays from my sidebar.

Write On Wednesdays Exercise 13 – A Great One Liner…This week you need to come up with one good line to describe a part of your day. It can be ‘real life’ or fiction. But it must tell us ‘who did what’. It has to be an amazing line, like a tiny little paper plane that must travel a big distance (figuratively speaking) with only a few folds … Every word in that line must earn its place, or be cut as excess baggage. Let’s get thinking about each sentence as though every word counts, like working one group of muscles to show how much weight they can carry.
This week’s exercise is courtesy of Karen who can be found at the wonderful the rhythm method.
I know that Gill likes to read about how other writers approach the exercise, so I have taken a copy of my scrawling to show how I progressed towards the end result. It doesn’t, of course, show the trips to the kitchen for tea, the shower (very fruitful thinking time), nor the staring blankly out my window at the pink peach blossom  and the frangipani coming into leaf. I always write by hand first, I like the flow and connection between the physical act of writing and  the stirring of ideas.

Waiting for the Flow...

Last night, by complete coincidence, I came across this passage in the Landscape of Farewell, by Alex Miller –
‘When I took up my pen, however, I was scarcely able to compose the simplest of sentences. I wrote a sentence then crossed it out and sat a while, then wrote another and looked at it. But it too made little sense to me and I crossed it out also. There was a stubborn silence in me that refused to yield up my emotions and my thoughts in words. My subject was closed to me.’
How apt. And how reassuring that a writer of Alex Miller’s calibre has bad moments on his way to producing great beauty.
 I did cheat. This is not from my day, it is a piece of fiction, but it helps me get to know what’s going on in Carol’s day. And so to my sentence. It’s hard to tell a story in one sentence, I’m not yet adept enough to do it in a short, concise manner, but after all my scrawling, here it is.
Carol’s grandchild was plucked from her tender cradling by the mother’s mother, a polite smirk of condescension pressing her coral tainted lips as she re-established order in the nest.
Thank-you everyone for your generous and thoughtful comments last week. I really appreciated it.
And as always, thank-you to Gill at inkpaperpen.

23 thoughts on “Write on Wednesday – The One Liner

  1. Alex miller’s line is so true and that happens to me a lot..and like you, I also hand write my draft first. i believe there’s a connection between me, my paper, and my pen..

    Your one liner is very good. I love the “coral tainted lips” part, very visual..=)



  2. How strange that you came across that line from Alex Miller, very fitting. Your writing process sounds a lot like mine, staring out the window, cups of tea and thinking in the shower. This is exactly my writing process. I also write on paper first. And I just realised that I have cheated too. I wrote about fiction. I somehow forgot the part of the brief on writing about my day. Woops!

    Re-establishing the order in the nest, it’s a powerful image and reminds me a little of the MIL from last week, the letter penned in elegant venom? Poor Carol, but then Carol’s not a pushover, I sense a little more feather ruffling?

    Gill x

    • It’s funny how things ‘find’ you isn’t it? I love Alex Miller, such a formidable writer.
      Lots of thinking before, during and after the writing isn’t there?
      I hadn’t thought of her as being similar to my MIL! Spooky. But Carol is no pushover & I’m quite sure she’ll re-establish the order to her liking.
      J x

  3. Oh wow! What a nasty woman! I received so many emotions when reading your piece, tenderness between Carol and her Grandchild, annoyance at the pushy woman, then pity for poor Carol. Amazing how one sentence can really tell a story. Brilliant job!

    By the way I’ve just nominated you for a Versatile Blogger award, if you would like to receive it (completely up to you) just pop over to my page to have a look.

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