Thursday, October 26, 2006

Writing Exercise

Here is a writing exercise for those writers who need a bit of inspiration - or a kick in the you-know-what to get them started.
Most of you know the line "It was a dark and stormy night.." made famous by the THE most famous (infamous?) writer of our century - Snoopy. This line was originaly penned by Victorian novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton, as the beginning of his 1830 novel Paul Clifford. Here is the complete opening line.

"It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness."

Your assignment -- rewrite this opening using Showing techniques rather than Telling ones. Don't overwrite. Don't use a lon list of adjectivs. Break up the sentence into manageable bites. In other words -- write tight -- write clean -- write a great opening.

If you are interested in a free critque of your rewritten paragraph, drop me an email.

Louie Bergmann DuMont
Author, Speaker & Facilitator of the North Jersey Christian Writers Group (NJCWG)

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