I asked for a book for Christmas (okay I asked for FOUR books- and I got all of them!). Ursula K. Le Guin has long been a favorite of mine, but I never knew about her book on writing. Stumbling across it at the library, I found that I had to have it. Bless my husband, who believes me when I say these things. I started the exercises while waiting to get critique comments back on my novel – a new perspective, a fresh way to approach the craft.
After you write an exercise you are supposed to put it away for at least a week. You can share them or not. This one grabbed me today – I haven’t looked at it since I wrote it closer to two weeks ago, and stumbling upon it was kind of fun. That’s what it is – fun – nothing fancy. I think you can catch the purpose of the exercise from the heading of it.
EX 4: Repetition
Part 1 Verbal Repetition
She stood stalk still in the cold. The air was charged with the silence. Motionless. She heard it, that crash of quiet that holds each thing in its grip, that shouting silence that at once cries out to be broken and would be shattered if it were. She finally had to let her breath come, short and sharp in the cold. It felt loud, broke the back of the quiet, jerking it awake. She stood, stalk still, breathing shallow breaths, listening and motionless. A clatter of wings,a gabbling of voices, broke the quiet at last, loud above her breath, above the shouting silence, above the crashing quiet, to fill the day with motion. The turkeys, the wild flapping, gabbling turkeys, had come to fill the glade.The quiet’s back was broken fully, no essence left, lost to the endless turkey sound, lost to the breath and whoosh, lost to the ripe rippling motion of the air. She stood, stalk still, watching and listening.