Another writing prompt exercise. As mentioned in an earlier post, a friend and I are using such prompts to write weekly pieces to compare and discuss, to keep our creativity flowing.
It was my turn to come up with a prompt, but I was struggling, so asked my partner, and he came up with this one. My friend was very happy with it; I was not. I struggle with ‘male’ points of views, you see!
Now, I suppose I could have switched things up and not actually done it from a male point of view, but decided I should accept the challenge – the second one in a row (see the last writing prompt exercise).
Also, I’ve tried to work on describing surroundings a little more in this one, as this is one of my weaker points.
Rules for this one: approx 500 words, untimed.
The sun beat down on his back; pausing for a second, Chris wiped his brow with his hand. It was the hottest day of the year so far, and once again, he mentally cursed his dad again for being so ridiculously harsh on him.
He crossed Mrs Cooper’s half perfect, half overgrown lawn to the patio table, picked up his water bottle, and took a long swig. He grimaced – it had inevitably gone warm in the sun.
It really wasn’t fair – every single one of his friends, as soon as they had turned sixteen, had been given a set of wheels of some kind – Andy got given a half beaten up truck, but still, he could drive it…whereas Chris, of course, hadn’t been given anything of the sort. He’d been given a lecture when he requested a car, of course, but unfortunately that wasn’t drivable.
No, he had been told, in no uncertain terms, that he’d have to work all summer and earn some money himself to go towards a car if he wanted one. It wasn’t like his parents couldn’t afford it – his dad clearly just enjoyed making him suffer. Sure, part of the lecture Chris had been spun had touched upon how hard his parents had had to work to get to where they were, but the way Chris saw it, what was the point of all that work if he wasn’t allowed to reap some of the benefits?
Anyway, Chris had learnt from a young age that there was no point arguing with dad. When he got this way, even appealing to his mom’s softer side, in the hope that she could convince him, didn’t work.
He sighed, resigned to his fate, and crossed the lawn again back to the mower. Once he got this done, his jobs for the day were complete, and he was free. Free to go lie down in a darkened room somewhere, away from the sun.
Before powering the mower up again, he took a look around the garden. Apart from the very overgrown parts, it was a neat, simple, wide expanse of grass bordered by flowers, typical for this part of suburbia, and the surrounding exteriors of the houses all gleamed a perfect white. The air was very still, and the heat seemed to make everything shimmer. Far off, he could hear the shrieks of some kids playing somewhere.
He supposed that things could be a lot worse, shrugged, and made to put his headphones in, when suddenly, there was a loud creak from above his head – he glanced up, and almost fell over.
One of the first floor windows of the house had opened, and framed in it was the most gorgeous girl he had ever seen. Her eyes gleamed hazel in the sun, glossy chestnut coloured hair framed a perfect, oval face, and she was leaning against the window sill looking bored out of her mind. She was gazing absently towards some unfixed spot above his head.
Mrs Cooper was, like, a hundred years old, and lived alone. Who was this girl?
As always, polite/constructive comments welcome. If you get a chance, let me know what you thought of the two aspects I’m trying to work on: one, writing from a male point of view and two, describing the surroundings.
Thank you for stopping by!
3 thoughts on “Writing prompt exercise: ‘The sun beat down on his back…’”
One thing which I liked immediately when I read this piece is that it’s 100% clear that Chris was in the middle of mowing the lawn. However, you didn’t explicitly specify this – we were able to figure it out for ourselves by the way you described the lawn as half-perfect, half-overgrown. 😊 So a good job of “showing” and not “telling” there!
I think you did a good job of describing the surroundings overall throughout the piece. Personally I really enjoy reading simile and metaphor and all that poetic stuff, but that’s not everybody’s thing and there’s nothing wrong with a clear, straightforward style 😊 I felt like I had a good visual image of Chris’ surroundings, such as the bright white houses. I also liked how you used more than one sense to convey the surroundings, by bringing in the “sound” of the children as well as the sights around Chris. 😊
I don’t know much about writing in male POV either, so I can’t comment on that 😛
The main thing which I think could perhaps be improved in this piece is the description of the girl when Chris first sees her. This may just be my personal taste, but I felt like describing her as “the most gorgeous girl he had ever seen” just felt a bit cliché. Maybe I’m just a cynic because I don’t really believe in love at first sight. But so many stories have these scenarios where two characters meet and one of them immediately thinks the other is the most attractive person in the universe. It feels a little overused. So maybe consider changing that to make the story seem more original and unique. 😊
Overall I enjoyed reading this piece. Your writing exercises with your friend sound really fun. Keep writing and good luck! 😊
Oh my goodness, thank you SO MUCH for reading this and your comments! I’m so pleased that this blog is being read, and that there are lovely people like yourself out there who are actually willing to help me 🙂
My writing style is pretty straightforward – I don’t often use many similes or metaphors! I hadn’t actually realised that myself until I thought about it. Might be something I’ll need to experiment with and see if it suits me at all!
OMG you mentioned ‘showing not telling’, that was the first rule we learnt at writing class! I’m so pleased that I’m able to use it effectively 😀
I agree that at the ending where he sees the girl was a little cliche…guilty!! That is something I’d change, especially if I decided to continue something like this into a bigger piece.
Really nice to meet you, and thank you again 🙂 I’m off to read more of your poems – I was reading one when I saw that you’d commented 🙂
P.S. Great name, Gulab Jamman are the best dessert EVER
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You are very welcome Ro! I’m happy I was able to help a little bit. 😊 Nice to meet you too, and I really look forward to reading more of your work! 😊
PS: I’ll let you in on a little secret… I’m actually a jilebi kind of girl myself… But the name “Gulab Jamman” has just stuck 😊 Hehehe. Thanks for the compliment, though! Really appreciate it ❤️