Last night I hosted the first of what will hopefully be many writer’s groups. I had to move some of the shelves around to make space for the tables and chairs but it was totally worth the effort (and to be honest it wasn’t that much effort). The group was small, which is fine by me. It gave me the opportunity to see how well my style of 20 minute free-writes would be received without making too much of an ass of myself. Luckily my initial apprehensions proved unfounded and if I made a fool of myself everyone was kind enough to not point it out. All in all I would say the night was a great success, everyone walked away feeling not only a sense of accomplishment but also a desire for more. More words, more pen to paper, more sharing of the communal creative energy which springs to life when a group of people get together with one purpose in mind.
And now a sample. The first prompt was; The envelope slid under the door. After getting the prompt you had 20 minutes to do whatever you wanted with it. Here’s what I came up with
I was pacing the hallway, occasionally ambling into the kitchen and half-heartedly moving dishes around. I wanted to clean, to slow my racing mind but my hands were shaking too much and every time I stopped pacing my stomach clenched and heaved. So I rubbed my hands together and paced. It was exciting; it was terrifying. How was he going to get in touch with me? When? What if he’d forgotten and I was getting all worked up for nothing, pacing around like a fool when there was work I could be doing. Worse still what if he didn’t get in touch until after Sam got home. How would I explain? As these thoughts tumbled around my buzzing brain I did my hundredth lap up the hall, my hundredth back down. I told myself I was done, to put it out of my mind and get on with the evening. My feet betrayed me, turning me about ready to send me on another trip. Before I took the first step I froze. An envelope slid under the door. My heart hammered, the sound deafening in my ears. I didn’t know what to do, I just stared at the clean white envelope laying on the dark wood floor. Then I was running. My slippered feet slid me into the front door. I heaved myself off it and threw it open. There was no one in the apartment hallway. I thought about running down the hall and checking around the corners but the envelope now crumpled under my hurried feet demanded my attention.
And? … You can’t leave it like that, I want to know what happens next 🙂
The great thing about the group is that you may be left with a story that has only just begun. It encourages us to take time out on our own to finish them so we can find out what happens next. This is just what came to me in those 20 minutes, I guess I’ll have to free up another 20 so I can finish it