Try this activity from a Topics on Cue writing workshop.
- Copy Paragraph I, but don’t look at paragraph II.
- Without losing the essence of Paragraph I, rewrite it using about half the words.
- Then, compare the paragraphs, including yours. Which one is the strongest? Is Paragraph II too short?
The timer beeped, and Ashleigh opened the oven door to remove the bread she had just baked. As it had for months, the door screeched. She thought kneading bread would help her get rid of the anger she felt. It had only reduced it a few degrees. When the door squeaked, she got angry with Don all over again, and she slammed the door shut before turning off the oven. The nerve-jarring, high-pitched noise reminded her of all the things he needed to do. He started painting the kitchen last month, but had not finished the job. He said he would replace the broken bathroom window pane, but it was still held together with duct tape. It frustrated Ashleigh when she thought of all the things Don consistently had neglected to do around their home.
At the time-clock’s chirp, Ashleigh opened the oven and retrieved a golden loaf of bread. Kneading it had curbed her fury, but not her anger. When would Don fix the squeaky hinge? She slammed the door shut and turned off the oven. When would Don finish painting the kitchen or replace the bathroom window pane held together with duct tape? When would Don do anything around the place?
© 2011, Bernice Simpson