FAMOUS FIRST WORDS
Use these opening sentences to write a scene/story. (Max 100 words)
Exercise 01 I am an invisible man.
—Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man (1952)
Exercise 02 It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
—George Orwell, 1984 (1949)
Exercise 03 Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
—Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina (1877; trans. Constance Garnett)
Exercise 04 The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new.
—Samuel Beckett, Murphy (1938)
Exercise 05 Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.
—Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967; trans. Gregory Rabassa)
Exercise 06 Mother died today.
—Albert Camus, The Stranger (1942; trans. Stuart Gilbert)
Exercise 07 If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.
—J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye (1951)
Exercise 08 It was a wrong number that started it, the telephone ringing three times in the dead of night, and the voice on the other end asking for someone he was not.
—Paul Auster, City of Glass (1985)
Exercise 09 This is the saddest story I have ever heard.
—Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier (1915)
Exercise 10 Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.
—Charles Dickens, David Copperfield (1850)
FAMOUS LAST WORDS
Use these closing sentences to write a scene/story. (Max 100 words)
Exercise 01 “After all, tomorrow is another day.”
—Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
Exercise 02 “The old man was dreaming about the lions.”
—The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway
Exercise 03 “It’s funny. Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.”
—The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger
Exercise 04 “It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.”
—Charlotte’s Web, E.B. White
Exercise 05 “He loved Big Brother.”
—1984, George Orwell
Exercise 06 “Later on he will understand how some men so loved her, that they did dare much for her sake.”
—Dracula, Bram Stoker
Exercise 07 “He is coming, and I am here.”
—The Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger
Exercise 08 “I wrote at the start that this was a record of hate, and walking there beside Henry towards the evening glass of beer, I found the one prayer that seemed to serve the winter mood: O God, You’ve done enough, You’ve robbed me of enough, I’m too tired and old to learn to love, leave me alone forever.”
—The End of the Affair, Graham Greene
Exercise 09 “But I don’t think us feel old at all. And us so happy. Matter of fact, I think this the youngest us ever felt.”
—The Color Purple, Alice Walker
Exercise 10 “But wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the Forest a little boy and his Bear will always be playing.”
—The House At Pooh Corner, A.A. Milne
OUT AND ABOUT
The following exercises can be planned when you are out and about. Take notes, write short observations, and complete the task either at home or within your writing group. (Max 100 words)
Exercise 01 Describe a customer in a café or restaurant.
Exercise 02 Tell the backstory about the man/woman who runs the Post Office.
Exercise 03 Write about the bus/taxi driver on your route.
Exercise 04 Create a profile of the store manager.
Exercise 05 Imagine a fictional episode for your hair stylist/barber.
Exercise 06 Two feuding neighbours get together during a power-cut.
Exercise 07 The local delivery van crashes into your gate. What happened next?
Exercise 08 Heavy rains cause flooding in your area. Tell the story.
Exercise 09 A neighbour falls on the street. Tell the story.
Exercise 10 A robbery takes place in the neighbourhood. Police suspect a local resident.