Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Imperative

Comments and conversation for this exercise.

Imperative. Write a fragment of a story that is made up entirely of imperative commands: do this; do that; contemplate the rear end of the man or woman who is walking out of your life. This exercise will be a sort of second-person narration (a “you” is implied in the imperative).

500 words.

Note: Remember that I am asking you to write a 300-600 word examination of the process used to write the exercises in this round. Use the blog as a space to flesh out how you see yourself working on the story for the first exercise, and the fragment of a story for this exercise. And, what is the difference between a story and a fragment of a story?

7 Comments:

Blogger anisettav said...

I keep thinking that this is supposed to be like the piece written by Jamaica Kincaid entitled Girl. Is it just supposed to be a list of do's and don'ts as opposed to a story fragment about what you can do and can't do?

4:30 PM  
Blogger Gary Norris said...

I think Kincaid's story is a bit in this line...and, yes, it should absolutely be a list of commands, it should not be a fragment about what you or someone else can or can't do.

3:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey all,

At Amazon.com there is an excerpt from the suggested reading by Lorrie Moore entitled How to be an Other Woman that you can read for free. I found this except somewhat helpful in writing my imperative piece although she doesn't use this device through the whole thing like we are limited to. If you get stuck check it out.

Thadeaous J.

9:52 PM  
Blogger Sharron said...

Just Today (Imperative)


Turn down the music. Turn down the base. Turn down the TV. Turn down the noise. Turn down these voices inside my head (Thank Bonnie Raitt). Make a list. Do your homework. Do your chores. Do your duty. Do your time. Set the table. Set the clock. Set the mood. Turn down the music.

Make a list. Buy the milk. Buy the bread. Buy the chicken.

Research colleges. Do your homework. Tell my story. Make the call. Try not to do it. Try to help. Do not lean. Do not be leaned on. Make a list. See all possibilities.

Go to school. Go to the mall. Go to the bank. Go to the cleaners.

Breathe.

Take the dogs -- to the vet, to the groomers, to the trainers, to the park. Buy them treats. Buy them toys. Let them out. Let them in.

Don’t talk to strangers. Be a friend. Help others. Be yourself. Don’t follow. Don’t alienate. Don’t get suspended. Don’t call me to bring your homework. Don’t disrespect. Do your best. Think.

Check it out. See what it is. See how much it costs. See how it rates. See if it is needed. See if it is dependable. See if it makes life better. See if it doesn’t really matter anyway.

Make a list. Pay the bills. Pay the electric. Pay the cable. Pay the gas. Pay the mortgage with the next paycheck. Balance the checkbook. Find the checkbook. Order more checks. Don’t forget the bills forgotten.

Vacuum. Dust. Mop. Fold.

Breathe.

Clean your room. Make your bed. Put your clothes away. Don’t talk back. Come here. Go to your room. Tell your friends to pick up after themselves. Tell your friends we don’t live in a barn. Tell your friends to turn off the lights. Tell your friends money doesn’t grow on trees. Tell your friends, Because I Said So! Tell your friends to go home. Be mad at me. Love me. Mind me. Trust me. Look at me. Learn from my mistakes. Be your own person.

Remember. Remember what it is that needs to be remembered. Make a list.

Get up. Make breakfast, coffee too. Sign papers. Send him off at 7:00. Send him off at 7:30. Send him off at 8:00. Drink coffee. Make a list.

Call the To Call list. Call a friend first. Remember the days. Take advice until it’s time to give advice. Solve all problems. Take call waiting.

Wait for the principal. Try not to cry. Try not to shout. Try to remember childhood. Try to understand. Make a game plan. Call all friends and cancel birthday party. Go to your room. Think.

Make a list. Make a chore chart. Make a behavior chart. Read a good book to change the world. Make it all better. Make it go away. Make it right. Make a kiss enough.

Be home at 11:30. Don’t smoke. Don’t do drugs. Don’t drink. Don’t drive. Don’t ask what I used to do. Don’t tell me what other parents do. Don’t do what other kids do. Don’t try to prove.

Breathe. Remember. Understand.

Make a list.

11:13 PM  
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