Saturday, April 19, 2008

Writing Exercises

We had a fun INK meeting last night, even with Kami's absence. Since she had submitted one of the two pieces up for critique, we finished faster than usual and decided to introduce a new aspect to our meetings. Writing exercises.

We each picked a word out of a book to create and unwieldy sentence, and used it as a prompt. We wrote for fifteen minutes and then read them aloud. They were all interesting, and Steve's and Carole's had us laughing. I decided to post mine here.

Keeping in mind, however, that this is a writing exercise, completed in 15 minutes with no editing or research. Typing it up, I found several places that I wanted to fix, but I restrained myself.

Writing Exercise
15 Minutes
Prompt: Protagonist challenges aspiring history

"You dated this wrong." Dr. Beals tossed the manuscript on the desk in front of her. "Or did you forget the Visigoths?"

Audrey pulled the manuscript closer. She hadn't forgotten the Visigoths. No one studying under Dr. Beals could forget the Visigoths.

"My findings suggest that Carthage wasn't involved--"

"Nonsense." Dr. Beals sat with finality and crossed his arms. The light from his reading lamp glistened on the stiff strands of his overly gelled hair and on the frames of the half-moon reading glasses that he looked over sternly. "The Visigoth threat was all encompassing. Revise it and return it by eleven tomorrow."

Audrey took her battered manuscript and left the office. A cluster of freshman from Dr. Beals Western Civ class glanced nervously at her as she left the history department office.

Visigoths. She hated Visigoths. She couldn't write about anything in early Roman civilization without Beals foisting his damned Visigoths at her.

"Hey, Aud!" Trent hurried to catch her. Audrey tucked her paper under her arm.

"So, what'd he say?"

"What do you think he said?"

Trent was all grins, hopping on the balls of his feet. "He said yes? I can't believe it!"

Audrey wanted to kick herself. Trent didn't give a damn about Beals and his Visigoths. And now he'd think she didn't give a damn about his extended research trip, which he'd invited her to join. If she could get out of Dr. Beals Thursday night lecture.

She'd completely forgotten to ask.

Damned Visigoths.

"Well, believe it," she said lamely. She'd call Dr. Beals when she reached her room. No, he'd be raking freshman over the Visigoth coals. She'd ask him tomorrow when she turned in her paper.

Which would take all night to revise.

Trent gave her a peck on the cheek. "Awesome. I'll get packing. Pick you up at one tomorrow?"


Another peck on the cheek and Trent bounded away. Audrey slouched back to her room and tossed the paper onto her desk before sinking into her bed.

She had to go to the library. See if she could find references to Carthage and Visigoths.

Why? She'd done the research. It was good work. Her best work.

Did she want a passing grade or not?

Did she want her integrity or not?

Audrey laid back and stared at the ceiling.

Damned Visigoths.

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