Feature writing exercises

Week 1: Obituary 

Tessa Randello was 19 years old and living out her dream of living in Melbourne, studying journalism. She was always passionate about travel and managed to take advantage of every opportunity that she could, that was who she was. She brought adventure and laughter into all of our lives and I will always regret that we were not able to grow old together and the adventures that we never had. She will always be missed by all of us and I know she’s left her bright smile in all of out lives.

Week 2: Scenes 

The food court was bustling, the tables were being filled as quickly as they were being left. Two guys were sitting in the court with the bare minimum of conversation. One sitting on his phone while the other staring at the counter waiting for the coffee to come. Once the coffee was ready three made it to the table, one for the absent seat at the table.

Two people appeared for the empty seat “Guys this is Natalie” the new arrival said as he let the girl take the spare seat. The original two looked at each other quickly with slight shock, while also introducing themselves to the girl. Conversation flowed easily between the three guys and extra being brought into the conversation with a vague “what music do you like?” or “what university are you at?”.

The people continued to bustle around the table, the four deep in loud and lively conversation. The girl writing furiously on her laptop to their left glancing over every time they spoke particularly loudly while people with arms full of food stared them down, hoping for their movement to another location.

Week 3: Show don’t Tell 

Slowly shuffling out to the mailbox the old woman took a deep breath of fresh morning air. She saw the man with the barking dog watering his plants across the road and the crazy haired woman next door looking at him longingly, through the window. The morning silence was disturbed by the rushing of cars down the street “I have to move out of this street” she thought to herself as she made her way back inside to the warmth of the house.

Week 4: Emotive words – Hope

I was a really quiet child, people used to always bend down to me and tell me how good I was and I would smile back not knowing what else to say. The only person that I was really myself with while I was growing up with my younger brother. We were only two years apart so naturally I became closer with him than my sister who was nine years older than me. With my brother I could be my creative self, I would sing and dance and put on performances for my audience of one. I also didn’t get the chance to get close with my sister because me and my brother were adopted into the same family in Melbourne. We grew up together in a small town out of Melbourne called Mildura. I was only there for four years but for the whole time that I lived in Mildura with my birth parents I knew I was going to be adopted. I grew up knowing my adoptive parents and knew I would live there eventually, like every other kid, right? I was happy in Mildura and happy in Melbourne because at least I was always with my brother.

My brother and I were separated for six months between the time when when I was adopted and he was adopted. It was strange but we were ok because we knew that it meant that we were able to be together no matter where we would live. Living in Melbourne meant that my brother and I stayed together for the rest of our childhood lives. We made our adoptive parents really happy, that made us happy, because they were our family. They had gone through an IVF cycle 5 times before they gave up on having children. I found some strange smelling tablets in the bathroom counter one day and later learnt that they were herbal pregnancy remedies. The best part of being adopted was what the judge said when I was adopted “I’ve seen so many bad things happen here, but this has warmed my heart” at my trial, I will never forget that.

Week 5: Describe the room you’re in

Grey. The room was just grey. The light through the windows slowly burned on her jumper as the morning became the day. The silent buzzing of the computers along with the clicking of the clock ran in her ears, throbbing in her head. She slid down the plastic back of the chair with a cool shock as it touched her skin. The background noise was an elaborate spilling of words, she understood them but could not comprehend them as her mind tuned in and fuzzed out.

The friends in the room were obvious, their chairs crowded around the table as their whispered blended in with the droning computers. The chairs next to her were at a safe distance, the table a place for her drooping head. A slight ache on her forearm where it had been leaning and the aching of her back meant that she shuffled around. The chair squeaking as she moved, the slick table under her arms and the faint twist of the woollen jumper around her body.

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