OK, this was a tough one.
I’d hit a moment of writer’s block, but still wanted to keep writing. So, first challenge – think of a new challenge. Second challenge – complete the challenge.
And this one was a bit of a doozy. As I write, I find myself endlessly repeating the same words and phrases, over and again. I think every writer does. No matter how great your vocabulary, there’s just something about certain things that keep them coming back to you. For myself, it’s a distraction when writing (moreso when I’m reading), and I get very conscious about it, and have to correct it. So, three solutions. 1) Learn to ignore it, and just go back and fix it. 2) Try to break the habit so I start writing without repetition. 3) Both.
So, this challenge is more about solution 2 (and by extension, 3).
Writing a short story in which no word appears more than once. For extra challenge points, try to avoid words like ‘and’ and ‘the’.
Before even getting to start writing, it means figuring out a suitable scenario. So, here we go:
Sunlight glittered through holes in black tarpaulin, falling on churned earth, sizzling and steaming. Pitiful mewling rent half-lit silence. Thrashing, wailing, desperately struggling to escape. Helpless, weakened. Eyes that burned, watched as gloved hands peeled back yellow tape, stepped inside. Man. Breathing heavily behind steamed glass face mask. Kneeling, reaching out tentatively. Taste of fear, calming. Nourishing. Trying to nuzzle against thick leather trousers. Feeling repulsion, flinching.
Can see self reflected. So hideous. Heart screams. Every time.
Don’t want loneliness any more.
Face dispassionate, uncaring. Studying, like scientist. Hate them all. Bring only suffering, misery. No end.
Snuffling, squirming closer. Turn face upwards.
He puts his finger against wrinkled, filthy skin. Gently strokes.
Screams when savage, little teeth bite glove, flesh, bone off.
Evil grin, bloodied and victorious.
Terrified, scrabbling away. Knowing infection will spread.
Honestly? That started ****ing hard! Trying to determine a suitable scenario was a pain. Dialogue-free for me (although that’s a challenge for another day) as a preference. I spent a while trying to figure something out, then started with that first, basic sentence. From there, a vague, half-formed idea gradually took shape. The need to avoid repetition led to a particular style of writing, a different way of telling the story. Something I hadn’t really done before, and I ended up quite liking it. More, I ended up liking the whole scene. I want to do more with that (although the tone would have to change a little), but it worked. Got me thinking, got the old creative juices flowing, and got me writing.