Journal Exercise: Avoiding cliché situations
First brainstorm situations that seem typically predictable and/or cliché. For example, weddings and the birth of babies are happy occasions; funerals bring unbearable sadness; old people are lonely and awaiting their deaths; rich people are happy; poor people are unhappy.
When we write about situations that fall into stereotypical patterns, stories are predictable and characters or voices lack the range of emotions and complexity that make our writing engaging and insightful.
Try to capture a situation in which what you’d expect to happy emotionally with a character is quite different. For example, what might happen when a funeral becomes funny or oddly amusing? What could cause a wedding to be a sad affair.
Zatem wymyslilam tak:
O Kalirfornii, zanim do niej przyjechalam, zawsze wiedzialam jedno: piekna pogoda! Jak sie z czasem okazalo, pogoda jest tu piekna, ale czy jest to jednoznaczne z cieplem, jakiego bym sie tu spodziewala?
Pieknie, znaczy slonecznie, znaczy bez deszczu przez okolo 7 miesiecy, bez huraganow, burz, sniegu. Ale chlodno jest prawie kazdego dnia. Bog zapewnia nam tutaj naturalna klimatyzacje. W ciagu letniego dnia temperatury dochodza do 30-35 stopni C, ale wieczory, noce i poranki znacznie chlodniejsze bo zaledwie 10-12 stopni C. Dobrze sie spi gdy jest chlodniej, nikt chyba nie lubi skrajnie upalnych nocy, ale czasem posiedzialoby sie wieczorem w ogrodzie, a sie nie da bo zimno:-)
Oto moj zapisek w ramach powyzszego cwiczenia:
Sunny Warm California
Where are you from? – I hear this question almost every day.
From Poland – I answer.
How is the weather over there, is it cold like in The North Pole or in Siberia?
No, of course not. Winters are snowy but summers can be really hot. I often compare Polish climate to that of Chicago: the temperatures are very similar; there are four seasons – one hot, and other three rather cold.
What do you like most about California? – Is the next question from a stranger.
I say, alter all I love the weather!
But is it true?
Here I am coming from central European country where the average daytime summer temperature at sea level along the Baltic coast is around 70 degrees. We often have rains, winds, cloudy sky. When I first came here it seemed that California was best for me, with my constant craving for warmth. This should be the perfect place to live.
Am I warm enough? Am I happy when I look at the thermometer?
I am cold. Here, in the sunny warm California.
I am cold in mornings and evenings when the temperatures are below 40 degrees. I am cold when I am at work and at school because of AC that pumps chilly air on me. I am super cold in all of the grocery stores, where those allies with fridges, are kept with arctic temperature.
I cannot wear my flip flops or sandals. My feet are always cold!
I cannot wear noodle strap tops or tank tops. My arms are always having goose bumps.
I cannot have just regular blanket on my bed. I am so cold at nights that I must have goose down duvet with flannel quilt covers.
I never drink cold water.
I always ask for drink with NO ice.
“The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” said Mark Twain, and I sooo agree with him!