Sunday, June 12, 2011

An Experiment

I started this blog for two reasons. First, I wanted a spur to do more writing. Second, I wanted a place to put that writing once it was done.

Though it is still relatively early, I've known some success in both of these intentions. I've enjoyed writing up reviews and thoughts on the comics I read every week, and while I intend to continue doing these, there are plenty of other things I'd like to write as well.

Therefore, I've been looking for exercises to get my creative juices going while also resulting in some written output. In my searches, I came across The 30 Character Challenge and 100 words. The former is an exercise (performed mostly by artists) where a person, over the course of 30 days, creates 30 brand new characters; the latter exercise encourages people to write 100 words every day. I've decided to combine the two, resulting in what I've taken to calling 1 Character, 100 Words.

As the name suggests, I will write a one hundred word story focusing on one character in particular. It might be a brand new creation or an old standby of mine. It doesn't really matter. This idea is here to give me a reason to be creative, to experiment, and to make mistakes. They might not all be great.  They might not all be good.  Some might end up being downright awful.  That's okay.   I know that I have a lot to learn as a writer and hopefully a project like this will give me the opportunity to practice and to grow.

I recognize that one hundred words is not a lot. Consequently, these vignettes will require a certain amount of focus; I'll need to decide what I want to accomplish for each piece. The story might be epic, tragic, pithy, banal, or any other type. It's all equally relevant. All equally important.

This, like virtually everything I post on The Thought Wrangler is primarily for myself, but if others read these little stories, maybe enjoy some of them, all the better. If anyone would like to share thoughts, I'm always happy to have feedback, no matter the type of form, but as always, it's by no means required.

Unlike The 30 Character Challenge, I probably won't do one of these every single day of the week. But, sometimes, I might. Regardless, when I do post one, I might spend some time describing who the character in question is. Or what their hopes and desires are. Or maybe I'll talk about the act of writing them. Or why I want to be writing that particular character. It might come before the entry; it might come afterwards. This whole idea is a work in progress, and I'll see how it progresses.

I do have one hundred word story done. It's not quite what I expected to get when I sat down to write it, but I like it nonetheless. I imagine a good part of my motivation for writing this has been watching a bunch of hockey games throughout the Stanley Cup playoffs. My hometown, Winnipeg, Manitoba, getting an NHL team back might also have been a bit of a spur.

I call it Sherman and Dubois.

      “Sherman and Dubois race into the corner, chasing after the loose puck.
      “Dubois has a step on Sherman, hoping to get an icing call. Sherman seemingly intent on avoiding that, grabs onto Dubois, forcing him into the --
      “Sherman has slammed Dubois into the boards! A brutal hit, driving Dubois' head right into the glass. The fans cheer as Sherman skates away with the puck, but Dubois is out. He is down and he is not moving.
      “The trainers are already over the boards as the referee blows the play dead.
      “This does not look good, folks.”

And there we have it.

Initially, I meant to write something that was about Thomas “the Tank Engine” Sherman, a thuggish fourth-line enforcer, but I feel like this might have ended up being more about Roman Dubois, a far more skilled sharpshooter. Of course, neither of the two are real hockey players, but perhaps this snippet of play-by-play might give the impression that they could be.

I'm excited for this project and can't wait to write some more.

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