“Sorry, but we don’t deliver out there,” the woman on the other end said.
“Because,” she stammered. “The neighborhood.”
Our call crackled with silence.
I stared out the tattered screen mesh that shielded my doorway from the neighborhood. My eyes met an abandoned home, probably housing squatters, across the way. An old air conditioning unit oozed black goop and white spray paint adorned the sunbaked fence out front.
Why would anyone want to come here? Not even the neighborhood’s inhabitants wanted to be here.
The sun boiled his sweat. Air was like a thick mass in his lungs and if it weren’t for its necessity, he would’ve expelled it like a lump of mucus. Tendrils of heat wafted from the ground and tickled his exposed, cut legs. Everything around him was alight except for a distinct shadow.
He focused on the clank of his pickaxe as he drove it into stone.
The shadow shifted as if aware that he’d taken notice. “Have you thought of my preposition? I can give you whatever you desire,” it said as it had for the last twenty years.
Has it really been twenty years?
The pickaxe droned on–clank clank clank–pieces of sediments tumbling to the ground.
“Warm bed, not the rock,” it continued. “Your enemies to take your place. All you need do is say you’re mine and I’ll free you from here.”
The pickaxe stopped mid swing. Twenty years toiling. Twenty listening to the shadow’s promises.
It takes a special person to be the failure of one’s lineage. To not only be the disappoint of ones current family, but also that of one’s distant ancestors.
Gregor would have to face all of them at the arcanum. He’ll have to stand there and let their digitalized minds know that the business they’d erected in the late 3000s and carried for a century, was going to die.
The particle wall to his office hummed to life as his robot assistant rolled in. The whirl of its inner parts were deafening. “They’re waiting for you sir,” it said.
Sure, we writers have to do a lot to “sell” our work—but that doesn’t discount the power of the first sentence. The first set of words in your work determines if a potential reader will invest in you art or click away.
No pressure, right? Right. Lets have some fun with this.
This post is the first in a long series of “Writing Dares” meant to challenge you or (at least) encourage you to have some fun. I’ll present a dare every other week and then you complete it. But remember: you have to stick to the rules.
(If you’re a regular to my blog, you’d know that I post “Freewriting” prompts every so often. “Writing Dares” are not like my “Freewriting” prompts. These are for folks who want a little challenge.)
Your goal is to construct five sentences that captures each of these emotions:
Write one sentence for each emotion.
Your sentences can be no longer than 12 words.
Tell me how it went for you in the comments.
Post them on your blog or online space with a link to this post (optional)
Need inspiration? Here’s some short first sentences from the authors in my Kindle library.
Got it? Now distance yourself from every piece of technology in your home (cellphones, laptops, TV, teleportation devices, laser guns, etc). If it’s not deterimental to your health, leave it! I personally suggest that you take a field trip into the backyard or a local park.
Get cozy. Write for fifteen minutes.
The point of this Freewriting exercise is to pull you away from all distractions (twitter, facebook, email, texting, your blog, so on) forcing you to do one thing: Write. Be hard on yourself! Don’t go back into your home or pick up any piece of tech until you’ve written something.
What should you write about? That’s your choice.
Freewrite #11 Goals:
Get away from technology. (Go in the backyard, park, coffee shop—somewhere!)
Write for fifteen minutes. (I suggest using a pencil and notepad)
Don’t censor / edit yourself.
Once you’re done pat yourself on the back. You’ve just done one of the hardest things for a writer to do. If you want to share what you wrote on your blog—FANSTATIC! If not, let me know how this experience helped (or did not help) you in the comments. Good luck!
Since it’s Camp NaNo I thought it would be fun to tailor July’s “challenges” to our NaNo projects. The following scenarios should only be thought of as fun exercises using your Camp NaNo character(s). Don’t feel obligated to actually include them into your manuscript.
When characters are put under extreme pressure, their actions says something about the type of person they are.
The neighborhood geek could actually be a courageous hero.
And the bully? A cuddly kitten!
Your challenge is to choose a character from your current WIP and put them in one (or more) of the following situations:
Stuck in an elevator with no way to contact anyone
Stranded and needs medical attention
Is a witness to a robbery in progress
They’ve just found out there’s a bomb in the building
You’ve got two weeks! Post it on your blog and leave a link in the comments.