Wednesday, 27 June 2012


These are two ten minute exercises from the 'Spring into Summer,' crime writing workshop taken by Danuta Rhea. Thought I'd bob them here. Both these are straight onto the page and written in about ten minutes each.

An exercise in creating rising tension.

DCI Jack Broom hated the Dale centre multi storey, didn't know why he'd parked there. Sat between the spiky architecture of the Norman church and the smooth Victorian curves of the wool exchange only exaggerated its monstrousness. The other buildings here felt real, lived in, designed to bring you in and through them, to be part of them. The car park was blocky, aggressive, as mechanical and cold as the scattering of cars that had been left there through the day. No paths or aisles, just roads making him feel like a kid again, walking along giant's pavements.

A shiver went down his back as he moved from the street and the concrete cube blocked out the sun
Don't step on the cracks, Jack, don't step on the cracks.

Five storeys to go, he thumbed the lift, moving from one leg to the other as he waited reading the graffiti. John -heart- Jane. Jane crossed through, below it 'jane is a slag.

'Not any more,' he said, under his breath, 'unless your tastes run to necrophilia.' Again, that cold shudder running through him as the lift stopped with a metallic, angry squeal.

He waited for the doors to open.
They didn't. Somewhere in the upper levels an expensive, highly tuned engine coughed into angry life.

An Exercise in Writing Dialogue.

'Daddy,' Lizzy pulled at the quilt, her voice rising to a shriek, 'Daddy, daddy wake up.'

'It's too early,' the words came out as a groan and he pulled the pillow over his head, 'go to your Grandad, Lizzy'

'Grandad is sleepy,' she pulled harder at the quilt. 'I want cbeebies. Grandad won't wake up.'

'Then try again,' he pulled the pillow down harder, willing the world away. 'I'm hungover, Lizzy. I just need left alone for a little.'

'I can hangover the bed,' he heard tiny enthusiastic footsteps scamper around to his side of the bed and turned his head away from the sound. 'Do you want to see?' she asked.

'No, Lizzy' Daddy is sleepy,' he willed her away with a wince, 'go to your Grandad.'

'Have you had some of Grandad's special sweeties, Daddy?'

'Lizzy,' his voice came out through the pillow muffled and fuzzy, exactly like he felt, 'Daddy is very tired. Go to your Grandad.'

'I've had some of Grandad's special sweeties,' he could hear her twirling round. 'Grandad smells, he smells like the cat.'

'The Cat's dead Lizzy, gone to be with jJesus. Now please, just give me half an hour.'

'I feel sick Daddy.'

'Well,' he tried to pull the quilt up over his head, his weak hands slipping on the dirty material 'tell your Grandad.'

'I feel sleepy too now Daddy,' she let out a huge yawn. 'Grandad's special sweeties make you sleepy don't they?'

'Yes, yes they do,' his head was pounding. 'Why don't you go lie down with Grandad, Lizzy.'

'I'm going to be like Grandad,' she said, walking out the door, her eyelids beginning to shut.

'You do that sweetheart,' said Daddy, 'You be like your Grandad.'

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