Writing Exercise #1

As writers, we must constantly exercise our imaginations. Here is a fun workout: Write a one-paragraph story about the picture to the left. You can make it any kind of story you want, as long as it incorporates the elements in the picture. Try to make the story self-contained, and something more than just a clever caption.

So, go ahead and strut your stuff. Show us your chops and post your story in the comments. Most of all, have fun with it.

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16 thoughts on “Writing Exercise #1”

  1. It's been twenty years since I've stood in the driveway of the farm where I grew up. I don't want to be here now. The old barn smirks at me with a sideways grin, winking. "We know why you're here Molly," the breeze taunts.

  2. My family is all gone now, and when I return to look at what remains, all I see is our old barn — scene of much childhood play and even more backbreaking work over the years as endless as the moving carpet of wheat on the surrounding prairie — mirroring my own stunned surprise that now, at last, we are both ancient and those same years have almost come to an end.

  3. The brown barn sat at a crooked angle in the sparse field where the crooked path snaked to the left next to a spectre tree. The wind swept through the grass, brushing it down at a strange, 45 degree angle. Behind the barn, the creaky wooden fence leaned sleepily, too bored and too old to sit up straight any more. "Come on Glen!" called the crooked old man as he slid out of the door, one shoulder leaning higher than the other, his hair askew, and one leg dragging slowly. Behind him, the little crooked, black dog crept out, one ear flat back and one perked up. His skinny tail wagged excitedly in a somewhat odd, crooked way.

  4. When I came to Tennessee, I looked at a lot of property. I was delighted when I found a piece of land not that far away from town. Although the deed stated that there were outbuildings, I never bothered to explore the property, until one Saturday late in August. I decided I would walk in a straight line and see where the property line ended. For the most part, it was straight pasture, but then in the distance, I saw an old tobacco barn. What intrigued me was that it was in such disrepair. Especially, since the main building and the property itself was in pristine condition. I stopped for a moment, resting my hands on my knees and caught my breath. What would cause the previous owners to abandon this building? The sun was starting to set just behind the barn. The sun's ray's crowned the roof with a semi halo. Much like this old building I had abandoned my old life. As I stood up and looked at this building I could help but think, with a new light even the old can be made beautiful. I'm ready now to start my new life!

  5. Happiness used to wells up within me when I was young, when I was strong and healthy. It's an irony how those days seemed to just flown away in a blink of an eye; one day you are strong and healthy, the next day you were strong and healthy. I suppose that's how life goes, and now I am left alone, in the middle of nowhere. My friends, my families, my stories…they were all blown away with the wind, I recalled.

  6. Papa never knew just how bad the house looked, and none of us was brave enough to tell him. After Bessy kicked him in the head, the doctors said he'd never see again. But that didn't stop him from being our hero. He built that house with his bare hands from the ground up. Some winters I thought my toes would break right off, but ma gave us the evil whenever she thought one of us would crack. The summers were nice though.

  7. 'Well, what do you think?'

    'Is it finished?'

    Bryan waved the heavy looking hammer in the general direction of their new home. 'Just about.' he grinned, 'I need to get the door on, but apart from that, yep.'

    Elsie nodded. 'Ok.'

    'So what do you think?'

    'Yeah.' She narrowed her eyes, tilting her head to one side, 'Is it me, or is it at a little bit of an angle?'

    Bryan dropped the hammer and formed a rectangular frame with his fingers, studying the rickety structure critically. 'Nope,' he said at last, 'looks fine to me.'

    Elsie nodded again. 'Ok.'

    'It might appear, at first glance,' he conceded, 'to be slightly out of plumb, but,' he spread his scrawny arms wide, 'I think you'll find it's an optical illusion caused by the angle of the hills behind it.'

  8. Many, who drove by on the dirt road pass our farm, would look and point at the oddly leaning structure and more than likely, think how dilapidated it looked. Me and my two brothers would sit in the upper level playing games on the internet and laugh at their stupidity. Our castle stood exactly as we built it. No one steals gold from what's perceived as trash.

  9. It had been a long time, all the researching and ploughing through USAAF records had finally brought him here. He paused at the farm gate, not knowing what to expect, or even if he would go any further. Then he saw the barn. It seemed to wink and smile at him, as if to say "welcome home son".

  10. I guess to a lot of people, I'm like that old barn. You know the one. The one that's so sideways it seems like it can't really be there and still standing up. It's like a freeze frame from a twister, a barn in the middle of blowing away, only it stuck in place. People can't figure why I haven't just fell in a heap by now.

  11. Like all tales, this one started long ago. A time when I was whole. When lovers tussled in the drying hay. It was a warm summers day, barely a breeze to stir the corn. All of a sudden the ground started to rock and shake. I could taste the dust falling from my timbers. No earthquake, but Bar-Hew, the local giant taking a summer stroll. As he trod dust spiralled up and tickled his nose. He sneezed. That sneeze worse than any twisting wind. That's why I lean here now, a reminder to the fact that there's more on this earth than me or you.

  12. After spending the last two weeks in the hospital, caring for my father in his recovery from open heart surgery, watching him go from being a strong, independent man to a frail, weak, almost childlike soul, my husband insisted we take a break and go for a ride in the country to get some fresh air and forget about the family circumstances for a bit. The fresh air and sunshine cleared my head and things didn't seem so bad, until I saw a decrepit old house that reminded me of my father; it looked as though it must be full of happy memories, but tired and failing. As we pulled away from it, I realized that it was winking at me, letting me know that it wasn't ready to give up just yet.

  13. Abe stood looking at the decaying building that had been his home for ten years. The drought which had laid waste to his hopeful farm, and swept away his life's savings, now sucked the very moisture from the timbers of his dream house. That wicked summer of 2002 had weighed heavily on his marriage to Sue as well, and before the autumn cooling, she had moved back to Norfolk to live with her folks. Thank God their had been no children to grieve over. He turned slowly, a tear sliding down his cheek, and walked away.

    Jimmy Stille-Writer and author of three published books, Werewolf and the Blackwater Hag, Savannah Horror Stories, and Growing up in Rural America in the 1940's and 1950's. How have you been Stephen?

  14. He fought his way through darkened gardens and gates to Stumpknocker Alley. Deep in the dilapidated center of the city, he slipped inside undetected. There his roundish, concrete gray form blended well with canine and feline roustabouts foraging for dinner. Adventure hung before him. Feisty creatures of the night entertained each other with shouted tidbits of information, routing and touting one another and jousting for sleeping positions on broken posts.

    Gar listened quietly to their adventures. He never riled others with his questions. When he tired, he snuggled into a scrap of discarded blanket in a dilapidated lean-to. Dreams of adventure among the tangled branches and rutted paths of an urban forest entertained his sleep. All too soon, a rising dawn swept the Alley. He rose and trudged reluctantly back to his post. Someday, he would explore the forest himself.

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