Evening Writing Exercise!

I say it’s evening, but I think it’s late enough–11:30 PM–to call it “night”.

Well, I decided that since I chose to call this a “writing” blog, I should probably show you that I can write. Not that I can write or anything. Well, I think I can, but no one’s asking a 14-year-old girl her opinion on literature. Except for my English teacher, which allows me to segue quite nicely into my next paragraph…

This is a writing exercise that my English teacher tried to get us to do. When we did it for the first time, I have to say, I didn’t get it, so I’m going to try again and, hopefully, do better at it.

Here’s what you do: Set a timer for about ten minutes or so, and during that time, you write about a given topic (I’ll decide on one in just a second). When that time is up, you read through what you wrote, maybe correct some syntax-related issues, y’know, make the text make some sense without drastically editing it (yet). The next step is to count all the words and divide it by ten. The number of words divided by ten is the number of words that you have to get rid of without letting the text lose its meaning.

The thing is, it doesn’t sound that hard, but it IS. Eliminating 10% of something you wrote isn’t an easy thing to do. Unfortunately, it’s (apparently) a very useful skill to have when editing, because if you have a page limit that you go over, you have to be able to whittle it down to the correct length. Also, Dr. Seuss (call him Theodore Geisel if you want, he’ll always be Dr. Seuss to me) once said…

“So the writer who breeds
more words than he needs
is making a chore
for the reader who reads.”

In other words, you should write as little as possible while still conveying as much information as possible, because if you go on and on, you’re just going to piss off your readers, which isn’t very nice at all.

So, my topic will be to write something about tissue paper. Timer… Starts… NOW.

 

The colorful bag sat disarmingly on the kitchen table. Just a birthday present, I told myself. I knew it wasn’t, but I told myself it was.

I still wasn’t convinced.

There were several other presents on the table. Those presents, of course, were probably very normal and not stupid. I should’ve just switched my card out for someone else’s. Then I wouldn’t have been the one making a rather extraordinary social blunder. If I just switch my cards, no one will have to know that I thought a Muumuu was an appropriate gift for someone like her. If  I go to Hawaii and find out that I’m gonna have to go to a birthday party soon after, it is completely normal that I would get her a present from Hawaii.

I guess that maybe wasn’t the problem. Nor was the problem the fact that I had been too lazy to actually wrap the gift, so I settled for throwing some tissue paper into a paper bag and tossing the stupid fat-lady-dress in, and picking up a card at the drug store on the way over. The tissue paper was patterned–adorably, in my opinion–with little cheeseburgers and it just looked so cute and artsy, so I had to use it!

However, I think the whole theme of my gift seemed to be telling her that she was fat, which isn’t very nice because the admittedly morbidly obese woman had just realized that she desperately needed to get healthy or risk drastically shortening her life. She apparently needed all the emotional support she could get.

And I bought her a Muumuu.

I was the worst person in the world.

~

Okay, so that was kind of more about the Muumuu and the fat lady. By this point, I’ll have edited it so that, hopefully, it makes some sense.

Word-count time! 278 words… Damn. That’s more than I wrote when we did the activity by hand in class… Oh well. Divided by ten, I have to delete 27.8 words. What do you think 0.8 words would be? Would I take the “should” out of “should’ve”? Well, that’s only six out of eight letters, not eight out of ten, but… This doesn’t actually matter. I’ll round up to 28 words.

Let’s see if I can do this.

Okay, I managed to eliminate 27 words, which, to me, is close enough. If anyone is reading this and they see another word or two that I could maybe do without, I would appreciate it if you told me!

By the way, I did add/replace a few words, but I counted it so that those were negative so that… Okay, I’m not going to explain the whole thing, but just know that I’m totally smart and didn’t mess up my counting, I promise.

 

The bag sat disarmingly on the kitchen table. Just a birthday present, I told myself. I knew it wasn’t. I told myself it was.

I wasn’t convinced.

There were other presents on the table. Those, of course, were probably not stupid. I should’ve just switched my card out for someone else’s. Then I wouldn’t have been the one making a rather extraordinary social blunder. If I just switched my cards, no one would have to know that I thought a Muumuu was an appropriate gift for her.

If  I go to Hawaii and find out that I’m gonna have to go to a birthday party soon after, it is completely normal that I would get her a present from Hawaii.

I guess that wasn’t the problem. Nor was the fact that I had been too lazy to actually wrap the gift, instead settling for throwing some tissue paper into a bag and tossing the stupid fat-lady-dress in, and picking up a card on the way over. The tissue paper was patterned–adorably–with little cheeseburgers. and It just looked so cute and artsy, so I had to use it!

However, I think the whole theme of my gift seemed to be insinuating that she was fat, which isn’t very nice because the obese woman had just realized that she desperately needed to get healthy or risk drastically shortening her life. She needed all the emotional support she could get.

I bought her a Muumuu.

I was the worst person in the world.

~

And I realize that the story itself is, of course, pretty bad. I had ten minutes to write it and my only prompt was a piece of tissue paper. So yeah, I’ll admit that the story doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense, but that wasn’t the main point of the activity, so you understand why I’m not freaking out that my writing is below par.

Also, it’s 12:30 AM and I’ve kind of lost interest in this blog entry by now… So I’m going to bed.

Good night, chickedies!

 

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