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April 18th, 2010, 05:45 AM
::que ominious background music:: Don...don...daaaa!!!

You guys have me this week...lol! Enjoy your assignment and post it here!!

Red Dragon
April 18th, 2010, 10:06 PM
Hello Cynthia,
I realize i am terribly late but I only discovered this seminar now. However, all I can find is this post of yours. What was the assignment please. Sorry to be so ignorant. I will keep looking for the threads and replies.

April 19th, 2010, 05:14 AM
I know you are asking Cynthia, Red Dragon, but I can help answer that. If you go to the Writers Cafe section on the CTR Forum page and click April in the announcements section is all the assignments for Week 1, 2, and this week.

April 19th, 2010, 09:07 AM
Welcome aboard, Rusty!

Christina is right...and wonderful with directions! =D Just follow her lead, and you'll find everything you need. Can't wait to see what you can do!



April 19th, 2010, 12:24 PM
Nora sat in the pew, but the words of the sermon faded as the last image she had of him returned to her mind. Lying in the one good suit he'd owned, he'd looked peaceful, his face free of its usual scorn for her. Had she really consented to his mother's request to hold his funeral here? After all, Nora's church attendance had earned her the hard side of his hand when he'd discovered it. But he was gone now, just like the many bruises he'd given her over the years, and she was learning to breathe again. She thought she made a passable copy of a grieving widow. No one would think her capable of planning the "accident" that took his life, and that was good.

Red Dragon
April 19th, 2010, 06:56 PM
Thank you Cyn & CharmedGirl.
I wouldn't have found this without you! Gumpoppinfool

Here's my 6 lines with background.

I felt the familiar thickening in my throat, a sudden secretion of phlegm. I gave a little cough. "What does she want?" As if I didn't know.

Steeling myself against my husband's reply, I turned and walked back towards the kitchen so he wouldn't see the anguish I couldn't explain.

"She wants you to go to Bromfield . . . to your class reunion."

I don't know why she keeps asking. I refuse every year.

"I think you should go this time."

"No," I said flatly. "I don't belong there. My parents took me away before the school year ended."


Red Dragon
April 21st, 2010, 08:27 PM
Hi Debbie,
I really like your paragraph. You've incorporated the backstory seamlessly into the Now of the story and you have set up a fascinating hook with a sting that seduces the reader into the future story.
From the background information, the relationships are well defined directing sympathy towards the narrator.You give a wonderful character shot of the main character, Nora, and have cleverly established her as narrator/protagonist/antagonist. This is a complex character to whom the reader already feels sympathy but delivers a shock that grabs our attention.

The setting is clear and it establishes the mood and links the story present to the past.

You background information twists our emotions, has established conflict building tension and of course, you already know, this is a terrific opening for a crime/mystery novel.
I hope you proceed with it. :clap:

April 21st, 2010, 09:16 PM
Thank you, Rusty... really, sincerely thanks. I struggle with background, I think, tending to put too much in (everything but the family tree! *lol*) Your comments hearten me. I've only ever done "flash fiction" type stuff and the rare short story. Novels scare the hell out of me. *lol*

Wasn't sure if we were supposed to comment on others' stuff or leave it to those leading this exercise. But since you opened the door, let me respond in kind!

I was really impressed with your contribution because you chose first person POV. That's something I can't think of tackling just yet. After all, conveying the story becomes the sole responsibility of the storyteller. You can't just neatly explain away things or fill in BACKGROUND, unless your storyteller was privy to that knowledge. Dialog makes up the bulk of your lines, and by eavesdropping on your characters, I can feel the main character's sadness (regret? fear? anxiety?) I hear her almost angry words in the refusal to attend the reunion, the impatience with the repeated request to go. I picture her relationship with her husband as solid and steady... he's gently nudging her, even as she tries to retreat. And I want to know more. WHO wants her to go? An old friend? A family member? Her mother, the one who pulled her out of the school long ago? Lots of unresolved questions for me. I want more!

I salute you for picking first person POV and for a fine effort! :balloon:

Red Dragon
April 21st, 2010, 09:56 PM
Ah, so it's the Flash fiction that has taught you to say so much in so few words. If you began a novel, that is if that's what you want to do, I can imagine that everyone of your chapters -which you write one at a time like you write your flash fiction - would be a rich tapestry because you are already skilled in this method.
It's been said that if you can't write a novel, you can still write a chapter.The opening is the hardest and you have already proved you can do that. :)

Thank you for commenting on mine. I really appreciate your encouragement. It's taken from inside a Ch 1 and is thready compared to yours, but I'm really happy you sensed the warmth of the husband toward the woman and got a sense of mystery.

Cheers from the mutual admiration society! :yes:

April 24th, 2010, 06:34 PM
Okay here's my paragraph. It's very rushed but I think it sounds good. LOL

"Can you release your seatbelt?" Someone said as red and blue lights blazoned, decorating the night's sky.

Michelle pressed the button to release her seatbelt, her fingers clumsy, but nothing happened. Panic flared in her chest, triggering a painful memory from her past she'd tried very hard to forget. It was of when she was younger, and she'd been trapped in her family's station wagon, her parents dead in the front seat because some drunk driver had smashed into them. Blood coated the clean lightly-coloured carpet, and she wailed her lungs out in the back seat until a nice policeman had arrived to help her. God, it was awful that she could still remember every detail.

April 25th, 2010, 10:41 PM
:omg_2: My computer broke down for the third time this year!:realmad:

I think I have it fixed - so I will be playing catch up here....

I'm still hanging with you guys! Gotta post my 1000 word thingie and find week three's assignment...

This is the first time I've been on since Thursday. I am playing so major catch up!

April 26th, 2010, 08:00 PM
The belt lay in the dresser drawer, listening as she screamed for one--any belt would do from the sounds of it. Soft footsteps approached, and as the drawer opened, a little face peered in. Slowly tiny hands softly ran over its leather. The hands trembled and tears fell causing the beltís leather to become darker. Muffled sobs came from the tiny face as the belt felt the cold grasp of long hard fingers tightening around it.

April 28th, 2010, 04:52 AM
:right: not sure if I got this assignment right... I didn't know if six lines meant six sentences (which is what I did) - and after reading it, I'm not sure if a reader could tell it was background...

Line one -- "This is a house of worship," the young man in black lead me down me down the church stairs, "the soup kitchen is two blocks over."

Line two -- Yet it wasn't the young pastor I saw, spewing his sour breath and sucking me into a vertigo of a sepia-like haze of mind gnawing memories, feasting on me like zombies after brains.

Line three -- Once again, I felt the rough wool of the old tattered sweater I used to clutched around me. "These men - they - I needed protection!"

Line four -- The young pastors lips moved, yet the sounds I heard belonged to Reverend, his undisguised disgust defecating all over what was left of my waning hope.

Line five -- Overwhelmed by the duel collision of past verses present, I plummeted to my knees, before him, stifling the painful cry as the shard gravel dug into my flesh, spilling crimson blood on holy grounds.

Line six -- "I'm homeless, sir, not helpless, and I will do anything you desire if only to be safe for one night."

(oops! Line seven --) A perverse smile curled the corners of the Reverend's lips, leaving no doubt in my mind there would be no sanctuary in the arms of God tonight or any other night again.