Abstract art makes no sense to me. I like paintings of actual things… that actually look like actual things, and I’ve found that I like sculptures of actual things even more. However, painting or sculpture, if it doesn’t actually look like what its supposed to be about, then I can’t say that I particularly like it. For instance, many of Rodin’s sculptures look like piles of rock in the vague shape of a person, many of Degas’ are similar. Compare this with sculptures from Bartholdi and others that have a more realistic focus and I appreciate the latter much more. I am impressed by the skill required to craft features that look like an actual face, or a real lion, mane and all. Comparatively, I am much less impressed by the skill required to create a pile of rock that looks vaguely like a lion. That being said, I know nothing about art and I doubt I could do either. So, really all I can do is point to one and say ‘I like this better.’ Anyway, I’ve got a scene challenge for you. If you can’t remember the rules, I’ll provide them: 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: I want you to write a realistic scene. I don’t mean a scene that simply ‘could happen,’ but a scene rich with detail and meaning, but at the same time not overdraw. For instance, if your scene is in a desert, I want to feel hot and start to get thirsty while reading it, I don’t want to learn 101 facts about what the desert is like. This is going to be a variation of the movie/book scene challenges we’ve done in the past. Choose one of your favorite scenes from a good book or movie that just makes you feel rushed. However, instead of simply rewriting the scene, I want you to write a version of what happens that is entirely your own. Your own voice, your own characters, your own setting. Everything should be your own. This isn’t a simple rewrite for practice. I want you to write a scene that reflects the same mood, evokes the same emotions, and handles plot in the same way, but that is still completely your own work.