I’m still working my way through a lovely little book by Ursula K. LeGuin (aren’t they all lovely?). This one is her book on writing, called Steering the Craft: Exercises on Story Writing for the Lone Navigator or the Mutinous Crew. I’ve been writing through the exercises in this book, still enjoying the challenges she lays out for her reader, the writer, to complete. Here’s one.
Because of the nature of the next exercise, I found myself challenged to write the next one on my journey with Lisa. It is descriptive narrative prose, after all.
Here’s the task, at today’s spot on the trail: write a piece of narrative prose without adjectives or adverbs. Use, if possible, only verbs, nouns, pronouns and articles. Yikes. It’s really very tough. Note: this photo from Wikimedia Commons is not of the tunnel on Walking4Fun which inspired this piece, but it calls to mind our countryside right now.
We’re walking the road. It curves toward a tunnel. We’ve left the settlement, headed for Chapelle Saint-Roch.
Clouds move in the sky, and the sun is shining. Gravel crunches, dust rises. We keep on going, step, step, step. My boot lace loosens. We stop and adjust. Lisa’s pack strap digs. We stop and adjust.
The tunnel looms as we walk, and carries us through the hill when we reach it. On the other side, the sun shines. We keep on going, step, step, step. I’m tiring; the heat saps my strength today. It’s time for lunch. We stop, eat cheese and bread, sip some water and wine.
The fields flourish as plants burgeon. The summer is blossoming. We continue on our way, step, step, step. Rocks litter the fields, and we gaze.
Photo attribution: SantaElie (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons