A simple exercise I do to sharpen my narrative skills…
I would watch a movie or television show and recreate a scene in novel or story format.
I don’t pause the action. I let it play and try to catch what I can, visually and by ear, as it plays.
This is what I got from a Twilight Zone episode I watched as I wrote this blog.
Jeff entered the cabin.
“Hey Kiddo,” Jeff’s father called as he sliced vegetables for his sandwich.
“Nothing,” Jeff replied. “Mike’s showing me around the woods.”
Jeff noticed a peculiar look on his father’s face.
“Oh… Well wash your hands so you can eat a sandwich,” Jeff’s father said.
“Okay,” Jeff said.
Jeff took a sip from a glass of milk on the counter before taking off to the bathroom to wash his hands.
Jeff’s father put his son’s favorite cheese on the sandwich before adding the bread.
“Jeff!” He called.
Something was wrong. Something he couldn’t… His son was upset with him about not letting him play outside after dark, but it wasn’t like the boy to ignore him. Normally the anger would be in his son’s snarky or sarcastic reply.
“Jeff!” He called again. “Sandwich is ready!”
His heart was racing.
He thought of putting down the knife but a gut feeling urged him to keep it. For his search. Something told him he may have to use it.
He left the house and made his way through the woods.
“Jeff!” He called.
A collapsed tree house ahead.
His heart skipped a beat as he dropped the knife and approached the collapsed structure.
Jeff, he thought. His son was under there. He couldn’t see his boy, but he knew he was under there.
Not the best story in the world. lol.
The challenge with trying to transcribe what I’m seeing on TV –without pausing– is I’m not going to get everything on screen. It all moves so fast. No time to stop and think before writing. Just have to write.
Anyway… That’s one exercise I do to sharpen my skills.
Hope it helps.