We’re all idiots sometimes. This is one of the basic rules that I live by, actually. Everyone sucks sometimes, especially me, and everyone’s an idiot, especially me. If you expect people to always be kind, generous, wise, etc, you will often be disappointed. If you expect people to be selfish, greedy, and stupid, you will rarely be disappointed and might sometimes be surprised. However, this outlook comes with a couple of drawbacks: if you expect people to be selfish, greedy, and stupid it is 1) easy to treat everyone as though they are selfish, greedy, and stupid, even when they’re not; and 2) it is easy to justify your own selfishness, greed, and stupidity. So, the policy I have tried (am trying?) to live by is this: expect people to be selfish, greedy, and stupid, but treat them like they are kind, generous, and wise, and try to be those things yourself. I’m honestly not sure if this is a good policy, but it seems to be working fairly well for me (for the most part at least). I’m rarely disappointed, even by the worst of people, and people rarely seem to be disappointed in me (of course, this could be because they’ve adopted a similar policy). Anyway, this actually has nothing to do with your challenge today. Today is your scene challenge, and you all should know the rules, but just in case: I provide you with specific rules for how to write a particular scene. Try to keep your scene under five hundred words, and try to keep it in the same tone as the introduction. If I give a line that is very dark and depressing, then I don’t want to see a scene about a drunken monkey in a tutu…it just doesn’t fit. If I do give you a line about a drunken monkey in a tutu, then you should probably try for a funny scene.
Your challenge: Choose one of your favorite scenes from a novel. After reading the scene a couple of times, rewrite it in your own style and voice. The characters and basic elements of the scene should remain the same, but the way it is written should reflect your voice and style of writing, rather than the original author’s. This can be very challenging, so don’t be too disappointed if you need a few tries to go it well.