Write on Wednesday Exercise 14 - The Mighty Mighty Rewrite...
Zanni: I did a workshop with literary author Mj Hyland, who teachers Masters in Creative Writing at Manchester University. She asked us to choose our favourite book, take the first paragraph and then write our own content into the paragraph, keeping the structure, tone, language etc. It's really helpful!
No time limit. Let's keep up the focus on making each word count. Ready? Set? Write!
The reason I'm posting this on Thursday is that I only read the exercise on Tuesday night, and it completely stumped me. I couldn't think of my favourite book. I have a tendency to read books but then not keep them - so while I remember many, many hours of being completely taken away with a book, I can't remember titles or authors and I don't keep many books.
I've bent the rule and gone with the first paragraph of a short story I read earlier this year which has haunted me. I couldn't tell you the name of the story or name of the author (I know my favourite short story of all time is by Roald Dahl, but I can't tell you want it is and I've never been able to find it since reading it over two decades ago!). I had to wait for the boy to wake up this morning to retrieve the book which held the paragraph I'm going to work with - and to find out the name of the story and the author!
'Grey Sky Morning' by Jack Cassidy, from the The Sleepers Almanac No.6
We got a letter today. It came from the north. Across vast expanses of frozen wilderness from a place that, to most people, will only ever be myth. How did it come? I can only imagine, because my father always said that when he was up there, there was no way to write to us. But this letter got to us all the same.
My brother always said when he finally got away, we would never see or hear from him again. He would dissolve into a world where people were shadows and memories and he would be free. Yet, this morning a message arrived from the world of memories and shadow, I am not sure how it found me, but there it was, an email from a shadow who had seen our brother-memory.