Creative Writing Cafe – Term Three – Lesson Eight

THURSDAY 22nd NOVEMBER 2012

I was unable to make last weeks class so this week I bring you both pieces of homework .

The previous weeks homework was to take an existing character and write about what happened to them when the story finished. I went down The Hunger Games route and my piece leads on from the ending of the third book in the trilogy Catching Fire.

For those of you haven’t read the books it may be worth skipping over this section just incase there are any spoilers.

In the epilogue, twenty years later Katniss and Peeta are married and have two children. The Hunger Games are over, but Katniss dreads the day her children learn about their parents’ involvement in both the Games and the war. When she feels distressed, Katniss plays a comforting but repetitive “game,” reminding herself of every good thing that she has ever seen someone do. The series ends with Katniss claiming that “there are much worse games to play.

It had been a contentment she dared to dream, yet dared to accept. Happy endings didn’t happen to Katniss and she often found herself nipping the skin on her arm for reassurance that it was indeed real.

She watched lovingly as Peeta scooped up their youngest, her braided hair swooshing the air as he twirled her around. She felt a pang of longing, the memory bitter-sweet of when her father used to do that to her when they had been successful in their hunting.

Their oldest, a boy who mirrored Peeta’s handsome looks and Katniss’ fiery personality, pounced on her back, squeezing her tightly before trying to drag her up in desperation to show her the rat trap he had made.

It had been a talent she had taught him, hoping in vain that he would never have to use it in the circumstances that she had. A small part of her remained cynical to the facet that it was all over, over-cautious in preparation for her children should the worse become of them again.

It had been ten years since the fall of the Capitol; an inevitable marriage built on trust, survival and instinct had ensued, whimsical and fulfilling all that Katniss had ever worked for. However she could never fully relax into the life, the threat that it would be ripped from her grasp at any second was a fear that struggled to disappear.

The Hunger Games were no more.

Yet they had been a part of her life as natural as inhaling and exhaling. Even a decade on, Katniss still couldn’t shake the dread that she felt with every impending reaping.

Someone stroking her hair pulled her from her thoughts and she looked into the eyes of Peeta, who piggy backed their daughter as she squealed in delight.

It was a sight she drank in and savored, she remembered her refusal to ever get married and have children for the very reason of the Hunger Games. Since the demise of The Capitol and the eradication of The Hunger Games, Katniss had softened to the idea and for the first time in her life saw hope and felt pure happiness.

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Last week’s homework was to write 750 words on how a relatively prosperous and happy member of society ends up falling through society to become homeless, penniless and with nothing. Well, the following also comes with a warning as it’s not the happiest of stories so here goes…

The cold sliced bitterly through his hands as the thin thread from his woollen gloves unravelled in tatters around his grip on the black bin liner. The energy summoned to put another battered boot forward was more than that released from the half eaten sandwich, rescued from a bin and devoured with relinquished hunger,  would allow. Nausea and fatigue wrapped around him simultaneously as he slumped to the frosty floor.

The light from the pub window above him shone down like a sore wound from his past as the revellers clinked their drinks and laughed raucously in Christmas glee.

Christmas drinks with the staff.

That had been him once upon a time; buying the rounds in, organising fancy Christmas Parties for his staff and placing an infinitive tab behind the bar. Watching the carefree expressions on their hardworking faces as they revelled in free booze had brought him a sense of joy and satisfaction.

He had loved his job; Director of his own successful company by the age of thirty had been one of the many things he had achieved on his life’s wish list. Marrying Tara and having their two beautiful daughters had been another. His hard work had earned them a lovely five bedroom detached house with luxury holidays at least twice a year. Life couldn’t have got any better than that.

And it didn’t.

As the snow fell from the skies and settled on his flaccid body, the sting of the flakes landing on any exposed skin jolted electrifying pain through his body as his blurry mind recalled that horrific night.

They weren’t going to go.  Tara had a severe cold, yet the trooper that she was insisted that they still go out for the annual family pantomime night to the local theatre. His girls loved the occasion and dressed in their finest party frocks as daddy always treated them to a lovely meal in an amazing restaurant beforehand. A few flakes of snow had escaped from the sky, drifting lazily before stubbornly refusing to settle on the wet ground. He and Tara had watched in delight as the girls squealed with excitement and awe, before having to comfort their sighs of disappointment when they realised there would be no snow man building.

He would never forget how she looked that night. Her porcelain skin paler than usual yet it still glowed as her smile radiated through. Her black hair all tousled up in a bun. He was the luckiest man alive.

A car drove by as he lay on the pavement half propped up against the pub wall; his foot dangling in the doorway, the power of the headlights blinding him through his defeated closed eyelids. A howl of pain escaped his lips as the headlight conjured a memory that stabbed through his brain. That had been the last thing he had seen before the accident, the intense fiery lights of the devil coming towards him about to snatch away everything he had ever worked for.

A drink driver had ploughed head on into his Audi. He later cursed himself as he regrettably nearly took the Range Rover when he had seen the first few snowflakes starting to fall, but had decided it against it as the Audi would be easier to park in the multi storey. The force of the impact had sent the Audi spiralling off the road, jamming it into a tree.

What followed was a disco of blue and white lights as he danced at deaths door. Four days of blissful coma induced sleep saw him skipping through luscious meadows, hand in hand with his girls as a peaceful white light watched over them. The intensity of the love and contentment he felt was suddenly snatched away from him as consciousness ripped through him. Devastation that all he had worked for, all that he had dreamed of had now been shattered as he learned he was the only survivor.

Tears of guilt, anger and frustration had attached themselves firmly to him, following his every move and had never left him since. The gaping wound was filled with copious amounts of alcohol, rendering him as dreadful as his family’s killer as he was later caught drink driving and subsequently banned. Lonely nights were spent gambling in a casino until he was penniless. His business suffered and with the added blow of the recession, it folded. His possessions and his cars were sharply snapped up by bailiffs whilst his house was repossessed.

 A jolt to his leg resurfaced him from the depths of his depression as the merry pub patrons stumbled out of the pub, knocking his foot in the process. As he tried to focus his eyes, he saw someone bending over him and the faint words, “Can I help you sir?”    

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Next week’s homework is a two parter, this first part is to;

* Create a Main Character whose journey through a story can fit different types of stories

* To come up with a template of my own and two different plots on top of it. Summarise the template in one a couple of sentences. The plot example is a paragraph.

We will then discuss these at next weeks lesson in order to write the stories ready for our final lesson.

To read:

Jane Austen – Northanger Abbey

EDITING:

A bit of advice discussed in today’s lesson was to consider when cutting paragraphs, place them in another document incase you want to use them at a later stage.

A tip that Woody Allen did when he edited his films was that he kept the edited pieces and placed them aside to possibly use in other films.

Love Missuswolf xxx

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