Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Creative Writing: A Ball Of Yarn

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(Note: This is a "Creative Writing Prompt")

THE CHALLENGE
In 250 words, write from the point of view of a ball of yarn being chased by a cat.

MY OUTCOME
While I was lying in our wicker basket side by side with my brothers and sisters, I was dreaming of my transformation. At the moment I was just a simple red ball of yarn, but our destiny was to become part of something beautiful. And soon I will be a part of a scarf. Our mistress was knitting a wonderful scarf with colors of the rainbow. Stripes of violet, blue, green and yellow were already done, at the moment she was working on orange, and I would be next. Followed by the same spectrum all over again until her scarf will have the perfect length. I was so focused on how the finished scarf would look like, I didn't see it coming. The paw!
A paw with razor sharp claws was reaching into the basket, followed by two twitchingly ears and two glowing eyes. I have heard the rumors down in that shop, were we had waited to be sold. Some old yarns and fabrics scared the younger ones with stories of horrible hairy beasts in houses, called cats. These cats were monsters, who considered it a funny play to separate us from the others and chase us over dirty floors. But this wasn't worst. If you were unlucky, they found your string's beginning, loosen it, unwrap your wonderful yarn to a total useless mess, or even shred you into small pieces and chew on you. Some of these beasts shall even munch you! Every fiber of me was trembling, I was scared to death!
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255 words this far. Well, "keep it short and simple" has ever been a problem for me. Let's call this the preface and see, how the story continues!
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The paw fumbled over our heads, but I was the unlucky fellow, who was given a push in my woolen sides. The last thing I saw was the look of my brothers and sisters, both sorrow and relief, before I was catapulted out of the basket. Whoosh, I fell from the table. With a bump and some little bounces I landed softly on the ground. There I was, standing still, face to face with the beast ... but wait! Beast? This moving ball of fur wasn’t much bigger than myself. It was a young, a pitch black baby kitten with white socks and a white chest.
It was lurking flat to the ground, its butt up wiggling, watching me highly concentrated. With a little hop it came closer, a hesitant push of its paw made me roll an inch. The kitten followed, sniffed on me. My fine hair tickled in its nose, made it sneeze. Its head jerked back, its eyes opened wide in surprise - which was rather sweet. But this kitten was a fighter, focused back on me and started another attack. Thanks to my thick yarn the hits didn't hurt and brand new as I was, my string's beginning was squeezed in tight! Puh, what a relief!
I could see it, I could feel it, every punch made the kitten braver. Over and over again: Lure, focus, wiggle, jump, push, follow. Faster and wilder got the game - and unbelievable, I loved it, too. Honestly, when did a yarn ever have the chance to move? Doomed to lay still until we were transformed, so this was my last chance!
If I had had a voice, I would have giggled and laughed and cheered. But I hadn't, so I enjoyed the jumps and rolls and slides. This was so different than these old yarns had told, this was fun! With this little kitten, that believes it's a tiger. Ah well, despite tigers don't make somersault over you, when their run up was too fast. The only thing that bothered me, when this little rascal had gripped me with all its four claws, pressed me onto its belly and gave me heavy scratches with its hind legs. I only hoped my fluffy strings would preserve me from any larger damages.
Much too soon our game was over. The mistress came in, separated me from my companion in play, stuck me back into the basket and shooed the little warrior out in the garden.

QUESTION
Surprisingly I have to think of the musical "A Chorus Line". There's a song called "Nothing". A woman sings about her experiences in acting class, where she "had to be a table, be a sports car, ice-cream cone" - and felt nothing.
Now I'm wondering, does a good writer have to be a good actor to convey all the emotions? And a director, too, for arranging the scenes well? What do you think?

EDIT
My dear friend Dolly was so kind to answer my question on her blog. Have a look:
Good Actor + Good Director = Good Writer

2 Comments:

  • May 16, 2010 12:07 PM

    Generally I think impact in writing is different from Direction and acting. In writing, if author writes about a Beautiful girl or handsome guy - everyone thinks or imagines their own personalities. If Heaven or Hell, as an Indian, while reading about Heaven, I imagine the mist over my knee, everybody pretty and in white dress and in Hell everybody ugly and usually dark in color. But in visual picture, Its difficult for director or an Actor to satisfy all the people. "With this little kitten, that believes it's a tiger", Its difficult for a
    director to show. Let us consider in case of blood in Violence or War, Actor and Director
    impact much more than a book.

  • May 18, 2010 4:01 PM

    When it comes to visualization, then you are right: books and movies are two different media.

    But similar is that both, director and author, have to arrange the scenes, chose sets and props, "give instructions" to their actors. Only if they do it well, the audience will consider the outcome worth seeing or readable.

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