Here is the first 10 minutes writing practice I did for the online workgroup 6th October 2010.
What I intend is to add to this until the short story is finished. Then I'll work on it and add the revised work.
Comments and feedback appreciated.
Above Ground was not the place to be if you were as small as Jerilla. The underground tunnels and living quarters were dark but had the advantage of being cool in summer and warm in winter. Warm, that is, after they had all braved the dangers Above Ground and brought back vegetation seared by the hot summer sun. The softer plant stuffs were hightly prized and sometimes even fought over as they made luxuriously soft, warm bedding for the long winter nights.
Above Ground the air already had the tang of summer's end but the air in the tunnels was dry and had its usual earthiness; a comforting, homely smell. Jerilla made note of this and of the slight changes which told her she was at the intersections of passages. She scuttled down a winding passsage to her day's duty; today was safe. No Above Ground today because she was on creche duty. The babies and infants were always kept safe at the centre of the complex and would not see light of day until they were old enough to keep up with the work parties. Above Ground and all its dangers was not for them. Yet.
Jerilla knew that her turn to go Above Ground, that huge, immense and dangerous place, was coming soon. Last time she had ventured up there was - she almost paused in her travel. It must have been spring. Yes, that's right. The new vegetation brought a pleasing tang to her nostrils so that she knew everything was growing again even through it was a dark, moonless night. Above Ground was never safe; the most dangerous times were the bright moonlit nights with sharp shadows and silver light.
Ragged and raw. I realise that even though it's a short story, The Sentence still applies and I had thrown that out of the window :)
I realised this afternoon that while people can, and do, write good stories without The Sentence or even much planning, it is the use of these tools that can result in a much neater, tighter story.
It seems hard, like putting on a straight jacket, and yet I know the benefits will be enormous!
I'm lazy and I need to sit down and go through PACTS, produce a Sentence and then put writing as good as I can produce, on that framework. And it will be better for it.