I'm taking an awesome Creative Writing class right now called "Good Hemingway, Bad Hemingway." If you didn't guess, the class is about Ernest Hemingway. We've been reading "In Our Time," but the entire class isn't just about Hemingway specifically - It's about developing creative writing skills. We've been given some quick little prompts in class to help us with this undertaking. The professor gave us a sentence that tells something. Our assignment was to take that sentence and show what's happening through our writing.
Our first prompt was "The old man was tired." We are supposed to describe a scene (about a paragraph in length) without using the phrase in our text. There was a five minute time limit as well.
It's a good exercise for any aspiring writer out there. Good writers are able to show the audience what is happening rather than telling them (and without using many...or any adverbs).
If any of you readers would like to post a response to the prompt, feel free. You can comment or link to a post. If you don't like the prompt above, feel free to make one of your own (but don't make it too easy).
Here's my response if you'd like to read:
The splintered wood creaks in intervals as the ski of a rocking chair runs over the same spot. Back and forth, it never ceases. The setting sun casts an orangish glow on the leather-skinned man resting in his rocker. Like canyons are the creases on his face, splintering out from his cloudy slit-eyes and down from his shriveled lips. He never moves from his spot, except occasionally reaching over to spit tobacco-yellowed slime into a rusted old bean can. Every day, he rocks in the same spot, staring out as if waiting for something. Every day, nothing happens.