Exercise: Open a story in the following ways
- with a generalization
- with a description of a person
- with a narrative summary
- with dialogue
- with several characters but no dialogue
- with a setting and only one character
- with a reminiscent narrator
The Lake’s Breath
Sarah believed that everything in the universe was connected. It was only natural that the rhythm of the lake’s waves against her ankles was in sync with the movement of the clouds in her sight.
Description of a Person
Sarah leaned back against the bank of the lake. Her legs partially immersed in the water that was slowly lapping the shore in rhythmic waves. She had a relaxed and far away look in her eyes as she gazed up at the clouds.
As I laid back against the bank of the lake, a sudden awareness crept into my mind. I sensed the connectiveness of the universe as the waves that gently washed against my ankles seemed to keep rhythm with the movement of the clouds directly above me.
Do you see that Dylan? See what Sarah? The clouds are moving in rhythm with the lake. No Sarah, I don’t see that – but watch how many skips I get out of this pebble.
Several Characters but no Dialogue
Dylan, Christopher, and Alex scampered excitedly about the shore of the lake looking for the perfect pebble to skip across the water. Meanwhile, Sarah leaned back with her ankles in the water – deep in quiet contemplation, thinking it remarkable that the waves against her ankles were in sync with the movement of the clouds above her.
A Setting and Only One Character
Alone with her thoughts at last, Sarah leaned back against the bank of the lake letting the slow moving water wash over her extended legs. She could feel the weight of yesterday start to fade away with each wave of water that rushed over her skin. As she started to relax and gaze up at the clouds above her, it occurred to her that the movement of the waves and the clouds seemed to be in sync.
A Reminiscent Narrator
I can remember vividly the day I made the connection. I was lying against the bank of Goodyear lake on a typical Autumn day. I had my legs dipping in the water and felt the cool waves lap against my skin. Almost fully relaxed and just as my eyes were about to close, the movement of the clouds caught my attention – or actually it was the sensation that the movement of the clouds were in sync with the rhythm of the waves against my legs.