Monday, 25 March 2013

The Writing Task

So this is the writing task I told you about on Thursday. If you remember back that far. Basically the goal is to write a 750-ish word story based in the first person and based on your own life (I think that's just to make it easier) and essentially it was a blog post but I have some questions at the end for you all too. Do enjoy it and of course please answer the questions.

At first I found it actually more difficult than I imagined to write this up. A short story, 750 words, in the first person. It doesn’t really sound like such a monumental task now does it? I suppose though the main reason it was so difficult for me is that I don’t really get up to much. I didn’t have too much trouble with the actual writing of the piece but rather deciding on what to write about. Something happened last week though so I do have a rather short tale to tell you all. It was last Thursday when I got my hair cut. The picture of it is all over Twitter and Facebook but I’ll be nice and attach a picture to my blog too for all of you normal people. It’s something I’d decided to do for a few weeks now and actually a few weeks back I almost cut my hair off myself in the throes of temporary insanity. I decided to let someone who claimed to be a professional hack away at it instead though and so formed a big plan in my head. I would go to work and stop in on the barber shop on the way there. Nothing actually went wrong amazingly, except for the haircut taking longer than expected. It was kind of fun what the barber did though as when I walked in to the hairdresser I took out my ponytail but when I sat in the chair the guy spent a few minutes putting it BACK in to a ponytail using an elastic band. He then cut the entire thing off and I’m surprised I didn’t cry. One of the barbers was bald and as a bit of a practical joke he actually put the severed hair on the guys chair while he was out of the shop. Apparently this bald barber always dreamed of having hair and so I found it a slightly cruel irony that there was a bald barber who always dreamed of having hair.

The poor guy has all the hair he could ever need but he can’t use it. When you think about it, that’s kind of sad really. A part of me still attests as well that with how much hair I left with them I should have been paid by them for my hair. I’m also slightly surprised I didn’t ask if I could keep the ponytail. I could have had locks of my hair to send to people who really wanted one. I think at least one person would be crazy enough to want some of my hair.

After that of course I went to work for a few hours and not a great deal of anything happened. This is why I have such trouble making personal updates and posts. Not a great deal of stuff happens in my life. Nothing that would be worth reporting on anyway. I want to entertain and amuse with my blog, not bore people in to submission. I have poetry for that, and books. I’m just kidding of course as my book is delightful and I really will take any and all opportunities to prostitute both it and myself.

As I think about it there was something that happened at work that day that I can probably squeeze a few hundred words out of if I try and a few hundred words is all I have left. Look at how well I’m squeezing them out here. I suppose that padding is actually something else I’m not bad at, despite what I might think. Anyway, I was going to tell you another work story that I should probably save for something else but I’ll put it here. I AM THE GOD OF PADDING! So anyway, the people at work were talking (I don’t actively engage people in conversation) and somehow the subject of birthdays came up. Specifically the year people were born. We have a guy working there who is actually slightly older than my dad. So this guy is asking everyone what year they were born and eventually he asks me. As you know I’m quite a private person with things like that and I think only a few people on Twitter, and those on Facebook, will know my age. I think I’ve mentioned it on Amazon too actually…bugger. So when he asks me what year I was born, I say 1985 without skipping a beat. I just proved that if you say something with enough conviction then you can make people believe it.

I am glad, however, that Barry (the assistant manager) didn’t hear me say that and that Paul (my big evil boss) wasn’t there, or they may have called me out on that. They know how old I really am of course.

Well this lasted a little longer than 750 words and it’s not over yet I’m afraid. Now I’ve done with my story I have a few questions for you, as per the rules of the writing exercise. Rather than ask you what you think, I have some very specific questions I would greatly appreciate the answer to.

What makes it unique? What makes this "me”?
What could I do more/less of? What can/should I change?
How can I improve? What could I do differently in general?
Thank you for your time today and I’m hoping for some feedback. Although feel free to post an inane comment I guess. I can’t force you to write and critique me. I’d just appreciate it. By Celestia’s beard this was long. 

Look! It's not a pony! It's me! And a cat. Also my webcam is terrible and this is the actual size of the picture
I told you, I have one for EVERYTHING.


  1. I enjoyed reading this Mark. I hope you had a good weekend!

  2. This makes you, you because you are rambling through the narrative. And you are, the Rambling Person. Now, not an insult, you just write in a conversational tone.

    You could have done less padding and given more content. Maybe add some description to let us "see" your day.

  3. I really like your hair shorter, Mark. I'm glad you got it cut, it looks good!

    What makes it unique? You spoke of Twitter and Facebook but didn't link to them like most people do to increase their hits.

    What makes this "me”? You remained in your writer's style.

    What could I do more/less of? More detail, maybe. Stuck with one story rather than two.

    What can/should I change? Yikes, this is hard. I tend to like the way you write so to tell you what to change is like telling you to change your writing style. Um...I don't know, I'll just say, not clue us in on how may words you needed?

    How can I improve? Ugh, again, I like your style. I'll just say what I just reiterate what I said above; perhaps sticking with one story and expanding upon it.

    What could I do differently in general? Gah!!! See above...

  4. This is absolutely very you. Like Anne said, a bit rambly, a bit conversational, but in a good way. I could imagine this being told to me over a pint. I've always liked that about your writing. It's very casual and laid back.

  5. will not answer the questions,, however, i'd like to say... goodluck!! :)

  6. I think your voice engages the audience. What I mean by that is the varying text formats and added parentheses allow us readers to read the words in a tone you put forth. I don't know if I'm making sense.

    H'anyway, I think you get to the point with your writing. We've all been to a barber shop so a physical description wouldn't really change our perspective. You give the people what they want to hear without too much fluff.

    Also, sorry I've been MIA the past week. I've been very busy. But I really like your hair at this length. Especially what you did with the bangs.

  7. I like this Mark but honestly I think that it does read off like you're quite often trying to use up words which isn't something I'm keen on in truth. I love your erratic and rambling style of writing since I practice something similar but I just feel like it should be rambling but actually offering more content, I do like it though.

  8. lol is that really a pony shirt... where do u even buy those?

  9. alright, here you go...
    show me dont tell me...
    that is the biggest thing with this...
    set the scene...let me watch it play out...first person doesnt mean you have to narrate it blow for blow...let it evolve naturally...cut the padding and give substance..
    its not bad as stream of conscious writing but its not really a story...

    hey nice haircut man...smiles.

  10. I need a haircut myself, my bangs are poking into my eyes too much.

    I won't give any critique though, I think my opinions pretty much mirror what everyone else has been saying.

  11. I liked this because it was your rambling style which matches you and of course the title of your blog. I enjoyed this and I love the Pony references all the time.

  12. Ok what can I say, the hair looks ok not great but ok your style of writing is just that your style and I for one like your style so keep it up...........

  13. Barbers should pay us if we have long hair. I would have liked a mailed strand or two. I think if you'd have written as the missing barber coming back to his chair I would have chuckled a bit too much.


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