Saturday, August 23

Things I've Written...

As mentioned before, I've been spending August doing a challenge for 29 days of writing prompts to building my skills as a writer.

I have three days not yet finished, but well started.  One day, I just can't seem to get going in my head.  I've had ideas, but nothing that's stuck.  So, I wanted to share with you what I wrote for one of the days recently, as I thought it was rather interesting.

This prompt came in three pieces, with your goal being to do one, then take a break before doing the next and repeating the set one more time after that.  Below, I'll share each of the prompts and the what I wrote as a response.

Part 1: Start the exercise with your character walking into a bar and taking in the scene. Write what happens in one page. End with your character sitting at the bar and ordering a drink. Write normally, like you would write if this weren't an exercise. When you've finished, put away what you wrote and take a break before doing part 2.

It had been years since he'd had a chance to walk into a bar and just take a moment.  Lately, each visit was to bring Kyran back to the Station, or to pick up a villain for the police.  The idea that he'd be able to sit and enjoy a drink was strange.


Just inside the door, he stopped and let his eyes wander over this particular bar.  Times had changed since he had last been able to go out and drink.  As a young man, these had been saloons and pubs, where men met to talk about the world around them and share a drink together.  Most of the women had been call girls or waitresses.  In the 40's, they'd felt more 'themed', with packed dance floors, shows and lots of tables for a couple to share a stolen moment at.


The only constant between them all, was the music and the drunks.


Music always seemed to be playing from some source or another, be it live or recorded.  It helped to drown out the talking and gave those alone something they could focus on, other than being alone.

It was the same with the drunks.  Always one or two who came almost daily to drown their sorrows in a drink or two... Or ten.  The bartenders took care of them, cutting them off at the right time and getting them home safely.

Taking a good look around, he saw the drunks and heard the music and then focused on what made this place unique.

Art decorated the walls, loud and bold in its colors and strokes.  It was abstract, but that didn't stop it from speaking volumes.  The decor was strange and mismatched, tables of various sizes and surrounded by different kinds of chairs.  To him, the place managed to feel both old world, and modern at the same time.  It felt a little like home.

Stepping up to the bar, he took a seat and looked at the drinks on tap, before finding one he wanted and calling to the young man to place his order.

"I'll try the Hopped Up Sampler."

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Part 2: Do the exact same thing as in Part 1, but now I want you to zoom in the narrative distance. Get up close and personal with your character. Feel the cigarette smoke seeping into his skin and the his shoes catching on the floor that's sticky from spilled beer. Write that page in this zoom-lens POV. Again, end with your character ordering a drink, then put away what you wrote and take a break.


He pushed open the large door, wondering how the daintier customers got in when even he had to give it a solid heave too.  Still, it helped to keep the weather out and the warmth of the bar in.


A friend had suggested this one to him, a place he might feel more at home in, while still keeping in the modern world.  His friend was fight.


Stepping to the side, in case someone else tried to get in, he took a moment t admire one of the several pieces of art around the place. Bold and loud colors called to him, their abstract brush strokes speaking volumes more than some might have thought. It fit with the way the room was littered with tables of all shapes and sizes, surrounded by chairs that didn't match.


It made the place feel somehow old fashioned, and modern.  Like himself.


"Jus' one more drink?"  A voice called out behind him, causing the man to turn catch a glimpse of one staple in all bars, regardless of time.


A drunk.


"No can do Kelly. You know the rules.  Six makes you angry and you can't afford to fix this place up, again."


"But, it was such a bad day..."  He started, before nodding and trying to stand up.


"Let me call you a cab.  We'll make sure the cars safe until tomorrow, then you can have your husband come and pick it up with your daughter."  A hand was held out and the drunk, Kelly, dutifully put his keys in it and waited for the cab to pick him up.


With the distraction gone, he noticed the other thing all bars had in common.  Music.


Here, it was a unique sound that actually mixed old recordings of music with modern dance.  It, fit the world created here.

Stepping up to the bar, now that Kelly was taken care of, he closed his eyes and felt the way everything moved around him, before ordering.

"I'd like a bourbon."


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Part 3: Repeat parts 1&2, only this time zoom out to a full panoramic distance. You're still in the limited POV, but now you're far, far away, getting a panoramic view of the scene. We should almost forget that we're in the POV character's head until he or she sits at the bar and orders a drink to end the scene.


It wasn't your typical bar, but then most bars weren't all that typical in the end.  Each had a clientele they wanted to serve, and did their best to attract those people.


A heavy oak door was the only entrance, keeping some out just from the imposing nature of it.  It helped to keep men gentlemen as some struggled to open it on their own.  But that was by design as well, the first step in assuring they kept 'riff raff out' and proper in.


Loud and bold art work littered the plain walls, drawing the attention of those who entered first.  One step away from being too much, it helped to set the stage for the place you were about to enter.  Its abstract strokes mixing well with the mishmash of tables and chairs, all of which had long lost their original pairings.


At one of the bar, a drunk begged the tender for another drink, proclaiming that it had been a bad day and he just needed 'one more.'


The quality of the bar was shown in not only the refusal of the drink, but the reason being that they knew the consequence and didn't want him to face that again.  It was further proven when the bartender requested the keys, calling a cab so his patron wouldn't get hurt on the way home.


Music, pumped in from an unknown place, added to the original effect of melding ideas with its strange vintage and modern twist in each song.


Everything in the place had been carefully crafted to call to the right person, one who was suited for this kind of world.  Longing for the days of yesteryear, while understanding that the present was needed.


It all suited him just fine, as he stepped up and ordered.


"Scotch on the rocks. Oban Highland, Single Malt.  Nothing under 15 years."


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I thought it was interesting how each of the endings had a different drink, growing in its speciality as the description of the bar and what was seen grew in definition.  Really enjoyed this challenge.  ^^

Kristy C