I’m blaming Ducky for this. She came up with an idea for a game thread, that involves writing scenes from the middle of book. A scene can be pages long, however. It seemed that something shorter might be just the thing. In this exercise, the idea is to write a paragraph that would be a random passage from a story. An effective paragraph is one that has unity (it isn’t a hodgepodge of things), focus (everything in the paragraph stacks up to the whatever-it-is the paragraph is about), and coherence (the content follows smoothly). For this exercise, the paragraph should be quick to read--say, not be more than 100 words long. A paragraph needn’t be several sentences long, but might be only a sentence or two, or a single line of dialogue. Or it could be a snippet of dialogue with narration: She made an attempt to straighten her tawny hair. Her voice quavered with emotion. “You must be a very lonely man, Judge Seagrave.” Then she turned a gaze on him that might have ignited a rain-sodden haystack. “And I’m a lonely woman.” It might be merely descriptive: Lines of weeds criss-crossed the cracked parking lot of the Seashell Motor Courts. The flaking paint on the buildings had chalked to a pastel pink on walls covered with graffiti. Many of the windows had been smashed out. Where the sign had been, atop rusting steel posts, only the metal outline of a seashell remained.
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