Davin over at the Literary Lab talks about the "I" infection we sometimes get in our writing. How flexible is our writing. Do we have a habit of getting into a pattern that makes our writing seem, well, boring. He proposed an interesting exercise - creating a story from A to Z
Here's an exercise that demonstrates how flexible sentence structure can be. Write a story using 26 sentences. Start each sentence with a different letter of the alphabet, using A for the first sentence, B for the second sentence, C for the third sentence, et cetera. Even though it might feel a little challenging at first, you'll realize that you can still create a logical sequence of events, even with this strict rule in place. The language and sentence patterns you'll end up using will have much more variety.
Hmm! A challenge that I can't resist despite the fact there are a million and one other things I should be doing.
Amber heard the car turning into the driveway and the headlights flashed through the front window as it turned. Batter flew all over the place when she lifted the beaters from the bowl, forgetting to turn it off first. "Crud" she said, grabbing a towel and wiping off her shirt as she ran to look out the window. David climbed out, slammed the car door shut and stood staring at the house. Easing back from the window before he could see her, she fled back into the kitchen. "find it, I have to find it" she thought, yanking out the drawer and rummaging through it. "God, what am I going to do, if it isn't here."
"Hello" David called as he walked through the door. Inching away from the counter, she open the door to the basement and slipped inside, closing it with a quiet click. "Jess, Amber, where are you?" he yelled. Keeping a hand on the wall, Amber felt her way down the stairs. Lightning flashed and shadows danced in the dark room. Mumbling, she felt for the light switch and flipped it. "Naturally, he'd come home before I was ready." Overhead the 40 watt light flickered on, not bright enough to light up more than a few feet of the room.
Packages littered the floor where she had dropped them earlier. Quietly she crossed the room to the storage shelves, trying not trip on all the junk in the room. Reaching up to the very top top shelf, she felt around trying to find it. Sand and grit fell down on her face, getting in her eyes. "There" she said, her fingers finding the cool, metal surface of the container and pulled it down. Unlocking the box, she looked inside and took out a piece of paper and pen. Vacillating on whether to do it or not, she took the box and headed for the stairs. Wiping off her face and shirt, she walked up the stairs and peeked out the door. Xing out one of the words, she stepped through the doorway. "Yike's" he yelped, "what happened to you." Zipping over the counter, she set down the box and handed him the note.