Each person writes the first sentence of a story, anything at all, and then passes it to the other person who then writes the second sentence and passes it back etc etc writing just one sentence at a time. The speed helps the imagination as does the cross pollination with someone else’s style and ideas. If you want to try this on your own…I guess you could write two stories at a time, alternating between them, and adding just one sentence at a time to each.
I can vouch for this being a lot of fun. I’m going to paste in a couple examples!
This is a poem Plato and I did where we added a sentence or phrase and passed it back and forth. I honestly couldn’t tell you who wrote what. 😀
Beyond the Garden Gate
(by Calen & Plato)
July 1, 20115
I stand alone peering into the star-speckled sky,
hand resting lightly on the unlatched garden gate.
I come here again, haunted by and drawn to the boundary,
straining to hear the music once more,
my heart settling into its rhythm;
my breathing, unspoken words to its tune —
it must be home, for I feel an alien here, beckoned
by the strangely familiar knowing for which I have no words.
Longing courses through my blood,
I push the gate not knowing if its creak is an invitation or a warning.
Fear, my old friend and foe, releases her grip
as I step gingerly onto the sacred, unexplored ground
out onto the damp, cool, dirt path.
I feel the throb of a heartbeat through my bare feet,
the pulse of home beats in my heart and rushes through my veins.
I am awakened and alive as I finally move toward my Soul’s true habitation.
And years ago two friends and I decided to write a mystery story. We’d write a couple paragraphs then pass it on. Again, after probably 15 years, when I read it now I honestly can’t tell who wrote what. Our voices are so much the same. Can you tell where one stopped and the other started? Here’s a sample:
The woman scanned the crowded hotel lobby. At least she assumed it was a hotel. How she’d gotten there was a mystery to her. The last thing she remembered was dropping some books in the drive-up depository at the library. Pushing thick auburn curls out of the way, she put her hand to her throbbing forehead then lowered herself into an overstuffed arm chair.
The lobby was a study in busy-ness. On those rare moments when she could keep her eyes open against the pounding headache, she noticed that this was, in fact, a hotel. Bell boys were polite and courteous to the patrons, hoping that the tips they made that day would buy food for their families the next. Ladies and gentlemen dressed to the “T” shuffled about, growing impatient as the lines to check in increased. Something special must be happening here this evening, she thought.
She reached for her purse on the floor beside the chair and pulled it onto her lap. There had to be something in here to kill the pain she thought as she fumbled through the contents. When she couldn’t find anything she started pulling stuff out and piling it in her lap. Before long she had things falling onto the floor: store receipts, empty bank envelopes and old Kleenex tissues. I really need to clean this out when I get home, she mused aloud, then looked around to see if anyone was listening. When she reached the bottom she found the pill bottle she was looking for, but when she pulled it out it was an old bottle of Bayer Aspirin, not the Advil she had expected to find. She dug deeper, wondering what else she would discover. When she pulled out a tube of bright red lipstick she knew this was not her purse.
She should have known that, she thought. Her purse was black. This one, though similar, was navy blue. She sorted through the remaining junk looking for a wallet with some identification. There wasn’t one. But she did find a cleaning ticket from Your Valet cleaners. The first name was smudged. She couldn’t tell if it was Daniel or Daniela, but the last name was Hartman. Further rooting turned up a handful of change dropped in the side pocket. She shoved everything back inside, pulled out a quarter and got up to look for a phone. With a jolt she sat back down. The pain in her head intensified as she realized she couldn’t call anyone for she had no idea who she was!
Aching and frustrated, she could feel her eyes beginning to water. Not now, she thought, at least remembering the fact that she always did cry easily. Reaching into the anonymous purse, she pulled out a tissue and dabbed at her seeping eyes.
“May I offer m’lady a handkerchief?” said a deep, yet caring voice from behind the velveteen davenport. As she turned, the woman found herself staring into the face of a most handsome man. Dark hair, goatee, and beautiful blue eyes, it took her a moment to respond to his question.
“Yes, thank you so very much,” she replied. As she reached out to accept his kind offer, his hand gently grasped hers.
“Victoria,” he replied, “My heart was broken in this very lobby the day you kissed me goodbye, remember? I thought it would never mend.”
She stared at the stranger standing before her. He stood over six feet tall and looked so regal in the gray uniform with shiny brass buttons and gold braid. He knew her name! She wanted to ask him a thousand questions, starting with “who am I?” How could she tell him she didn’t remember their goodbye, didn’t remember him or this place. More tears ran down her cheeks and she began to sob uncontrollably. He took her in his arms and she buried her face in the soft wool of his finely tailored jacket.
This is really a great exercise to do. Thanks, Harula, for reminding me about it!!! I think you should try it with friends. It’s very interesting to see what happens.