Stoic & The Opening Line Stoic & The Opening Line | Shades of Crimson

Stoic & The Opening Line

by Davina on September 5, 2010

The following two short, short stories are my versions of the creative writing challenge that you’ve all been following for the past few weeks. They were written about a month ago as a practice exercise for a summer writing class.


Timothy-grass gathered around their blanket, hushed at attention, encircling them in the sweet aroma of a hot August afternoon.

Swell, Rena.”

In the magnitude of this space Rena watched heat waves shimmer upward, her gaze momentarily distracted from her novel. Handsome typography rendered a story, now paused.

She stared. A fly lingered, tickling; her senses stoic. Her heart, for now, locked safely in a closet, bathed in light streaming through the keyhole. Eyes closed, locked tight, the sun burned white behind her lids.

One tear escaped. Jerome lay beside her, newly clothed in death. Stoic; his story too, paused.

Photo credit: Cupcakes2

Okay, so Stoic was a little heavy and a little dark; I admit. The following short, short story should lighten things up a bit, though. I’m taking this opportunity to introduce you to a new set of nine words if you’d like to practice with another creative writing exercise. The words are in bold.

The Opening Line

Spider was cute. Jody had been eyeing him all evening. Beautiful blue eyes, tall, dreamy looking in that beige sports jacket.

Oblivious to having an audience, but make no mistake; he’d noticed her. Their eyes locked and he’d looked away, shyly.

She waited now, perched coyly on the sofa as he approached. Nervous, she had to adjust her position as he sat. Her ears were ringing. Could she manage one sentence?

His fingers were yellow – a smoker. Perfect. She casually offered him a match. He looked puzzled, then followed her gaze to his fingers.

He smiled; “Turmeric. I’m a chef.”

Photo credit: Shandi-Lee

What was this process like for me?:

“Loads of fun! I love to play with words, weaving symbols and patterns into the writing. I find that creating the mood with animals, objects, metaphors, etc. as a secondary plot to the main plot or characters, help to inspire the process and add dimension to the story. For me personally, nature inspires emotional hooks and in Stoic, Mother Nature played a role in setting the mood. She supplied the background and offered up the drama that ushered you to the bitter end. Two stories, paused.

The Opening Line was difficult, thanks to turmeric. I was determined to not make this about turmeric and funnily enough, it ended up being the last of the nine words used. This was the fourth version (I can’t remember the others). The first involved a man in a phone booth, about to make a call to his mother in a nursing home, while being watched by a spider and lighting a cigarette, taking note of two pedestrians passing by who were going over their grocery list. It didn’t excite me. LOL. Maybe you can do better :-)

Please feel free to try your hand at this new set of nine words. Maybe you can use them in one or two sentences. Or, write a poem, or whatever comes to you.

Thanks again everyone for following along with this creative writing series. These past few weeks have offered up more than I could have imagined… thanks to you.

Special Note: This weekend, until Monday at midnight, I am writing, writing, writing. On Thursday a friend sent me a link to a 3-Day Novel Contest.

1st Prize: Publication*
2nd Prize: $500
3rd Prize: $100

*The first prize winner will be offered a publishing contract by 3-Day Books after the winner announcement in the January following the contest. Once the contract is signed, the winning novel will be edited, published and released by the next year’s contest. 3-Day Books are distributed by Arsenal Pulp Press.

I can’t resist the challenge and so I’m jumping in. At the time of writing this post (Sat p.m.) I have a headache :-o, 10 pages written and about 3/4 of the story structure planned. Considering I’ve only actually been writing for five hours, I’m not doing too badly. As for the rest, I’m counting on the characters to show me the way. This is going to be interesting.

There may be a delay in my replies to your comments and you may not see me around the blogosphere for a few days. But trust me… I’m here… cursing that friend who sent me the link to this contest, lol. Wish me luck. If I can complete a novel in this three-day period (max 100 pages, double-spaced), that will be considered winning in my books. Good Lord!

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{ 1 comment }

Davina September 15, 2010 at 1:45 pm

The lentil stew was very good. Yum!

Oh for crying out loud! A singer! Duh. Why didn’t I put two and two together. Groan. :-)

It had to be the mention of the bra and undies that threw me.

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