Category Archives: exercises in style

The same story written in different styles.

The original Story:

The 8:08 train to London stopped at the platform under a wintry sky. A woman, who was dressed in a beige overcoat and black boots, got onboard and moved quickly to find a seat. Upon sitting down she was confronted by a man, with curly hair, who was holding her scarf that she had dropped. She blushed a little, said thank you. He lingered, it seemed like he had wanted to say something, but didn’t and walked off. The next morning they were seen exchanging smiles.

42 Rhyming Couplets

The 8:08 service came to a stop
Under a sky the colour of a mop

A woman got on, nice and quickly
And found a seat, delightfully slickly

All of a sudden there stood this man
Who held her fallen scarf in his hand

He gave it back and as she spoke
She turned the colour of a can of coke

As she blushed he hung about
Wanted to speak but nothing would spout

Then without warning he walked away
And that was all that particular day

Until the next morning, in their individual styles
They were seen on the platform exchanging smiles

41 Adverbs (A to Z)

Almost always on time, the 8:08 arrived.
Bitterly cold weather though as briskly a woman got onboard.
Cleverly dressed she was for this type of weather.
Doubtfully she looked for a seat.
Easily one was found.
Fortunately she usually found a seat.
Gracefully a man appeared in front of her.
Helpfully he had picked up her fallen scarf.
Instantly she blushed.
Justly he felt he’d done the right thing.
Keenly he stood.
Loosely hung his hair.
Mechanically she offered thanks.
Nervously he now stood.
Oddly he didn’t speak.
Patiently she waited.
Quickly he walked off.

Roughly 24 hours later
Swiftly onto the platform they came again.
Truthfully they looked at each other.
Upwardly turned their mouths.
Vis-a-vis for a moment.
Warmly they exchanged smiles.
Yesterdays meeting, this was because of yesterday.
Zestfully they went on with their day.

40 Question Tags (falling intonation)

It was the 8:08 train to London, wasn’t it?
The sky was wintry, wasn’t it?
A Woman was wearing a beige overcoat and black boots, wasn’t she?
She got onboard and found a seat, didn’t she?
When she sat down she was confronted by a man, wasn’t she?
He had curly hair, didn’t he?
He was holding her scarf, wasn’t he?
She had dropped it, hadn’t she? 
She blushed and said thanks, didn’t she?
He lingered and said nothing, didn’t he?
Then he just walked off, didn’t he?
The next morning they were seen exchanging smiles, weren’t they?

39 Rhopalism

A rhopalic sentence is where each consecutive word is one letter longer than the next.

So the dawn train London heading respites, concealed underneath hyperborean overcastness.
Up the girl moves, climbs onboard carriage acquiring convenient positioning.
As she sits, curly fellow holding neckwear abandoned.
So her face turns maroon, nodding, thanking gentleman, hesitating.
He may want words, though silence prevails, therefore disappears.
As new dawn rises couple spotted swapping bilateral tenderness.

38 Cockney Rhyming Slang

The day’s a-dawning hail and rain to London stopped at the platform under a wintry apple pie. A Gooseberry Puddin’, who was dressed in a beige weasel and stoat and black daisy roots, got onboard and moved her bacon and eggs quickly to find a tony blair to park her myleen klasse. Upon sitting down she was confronted by a heap of coke, with curly barnet fair on his loaf of bread, who was holding her centre half that she had dropped. Her once a weeks turned red and she said tom hanks. He lingered, it seemed like he had wanted to rabbit and pork, but didn’t and ball of chalked off. The next day’s a-dawning they took a butchers hook at each other and exchanged roof tiles. Sorted mate.

37 Pangram

A Pangram is a sentence that contains every letter of the alphabet.

Upon the train, a snazzy female gave thanks and blushed as her scarf was quickly returned by a man who lingered but said not a jot before making his exit.

The next daybreak, they quietly exchanged smiles, amid the everyday waltz and jostle of the morning platform.

36 First Conditional

When the train stops, she will get on
When she gets on she will find a seat
When she finds a seat she will sit down
(If she doesn’t find a seat she will stand)
When she sits down she will be confronted by a man
When she is confronted by a man he will return her dropped scarf
When he returns her dropped scarf she will say thanks and blush a little
When she says thanks and blushes a little he will linger and say nothing
When he lingers and says nothing it will be awkward
When it is awkward he will walk off
When he walks off that will be it for the day
When that is it for the day they will see each other the next day
When they see each other the next day they will smile at each other
When they smile at each other that will be the end of this story.
(If that is the end of this story what do you think will happen with them next?)

35 Abecedarius (A to Z) Version 2

A train came to a halt, at eight past eight
Beneath a bleak sky
Coated Beige and booted black a
Delightful damsel
Ended up
Finding a seat quite quickly.
Goodness! As she sat down
Her scarf held
In front of her face
Just picked up
Kindly by a gentleman
Laden with curly hair.
Many thanks she said
Nodding, her cheeks turning a shade
Quietly he
Standing for a while, didn’t say a
Thing before walking off.
Until the next day came into
Where they smiled at each other as wide as
Yes. Directing their
Zeal and energy at each other.

34 Last Letter First Letter

The last letter of the previous word is the first letter of the next…

Carriages stop platfom
Madame escalades
Scarf falls
She establishes seat
Then! Neckwear returned.
Dashing Gentleman!
Not talkative enough
Her reddening
Giving gratefulness
Suddenly young gentleman not there.
Subsequent time: exchanging grins.

33 Reverse lipogram

A reverse lipogram is a type of constrained writing where each word must contain a particular letter. In this text each consecutive word has the next letter of the alphabet. First word must contain a. Second word must contain b and so on.

After daybreak, carriages stand beside platform. Gloomy overhead, wintry.
Majestic, striking lady climbs onboard looking rapidly, quickly for seat.
Gentleman, unanticipated, arrives with extremely, curly, fuzzy hair bestowing scarf
dropped moments before. Thanking the samaritan justly, pinkness gently blossoms on
woman’s aspect. Quietly, bestower dawdles, wanting communication, however, walks expeditiously away, dazed. After daybreak (succeeding day) they fling glowing honest smiles.

32 The Letter D

Daylight. Dreary, dismal.
Direction downtown does downtime.
Dame’s dress: dusty drapery. Dame dashes, discovering davenport.
Duly, Don delivers dropped drape direction dame.
Dame directs delight, demonstrates demure diffidence.
Don doesn’t declare diddly, dilly-dallies, disappears.
Daylight. Dame, Don dealing delectation.

31 No Verbs

The 8:08 train to London, at the platform, under a wintry sky.
A woman, in a beige overcoat and black boots, on the train, on a seat.
Then a man, with curly hair, her scarf in his hand.
Her words of thanks.
The man, silent, awkard.
Her face, carmine.
The man, all of a sudden, absent.
The next morning, smiles.

30 The Letter C

Cold clouds covered creation.
City compelled carriages ceased.
Cream-clad chick climbed carriage-wards covering chair.
Curly-cut chap comes clutching clothing, cream-clad chick conceded.
Crimson cheeked chick conveys credit.
Chap’s chops closed; can’t converse.
Changes cold condition: canters.
Consequent commute chap casts contentment concerning chick, chick correspondingly casts contentment concerning chap.

29 Relative Clause

The 8:08 train, which was bound for London, stopped at the platform, which was full of people, under a sky, which was wintry.

A woman, who was dressed in an overcoat, which was beige, and boots, which were black, got onboard and moved quickly into the carriage, which was full but where she found a seat, which was vacant.

Upon sitting down on her seat, which was comfortable she was confronted by a man, who had hair, which was curly and who was holding her scarf, which she had dropped. She, who blushed a little, said thank you. He, who lingered but didn’t speak, soon walked off.

The next morning, which was the following day, they were seen on the platform, which was busy again and where they were seen exchanging smiles.

28 Past Simple and Past Continuous

As The 8:08 train pulled into the station a woman was waiting to get on. When the train stopped, the woman got onboard as the doors were still opening. Just as she was sitting down a man approached her. While she was wondering what he wanted, he handed her her dropped scarf. She offered thanks as the train doors were closing. While he was standing there like a lemon she blushed.
It looked like he was going to speak but he didn’t and walked off. The next morning while they were passing on the platform they exchanged smiles.

24 Pi (Pilish)

Pilish is a style of writing in which the lengths of consecutive words match the digits of the number π (pi)

It’s a grey, a bleak firmament so placed above.
The train trundles:
And so the commuter, lady, boards in winter wear
And she reclines,
sat on seating available there.
He suddenly, standing, with a misplaced garment,
a curled hairstyle; she reddening, gratified
her garment found!
A pause, dawdling so, gentleman waiting
then wandering away very quiet.
Following on,
the morning repeated,
a shared look:

23 No Letter E

That 8:08 morning train to London hung about on platform four; looking up you could spot a cold, wintry sky. This woman, who was sporting a brown coat and black boots, got onboard and ran quickly to find a spot to sit down. Upon sitting down, this guy, with curly hair, stood holding a scarf that this woman had lost without knowing. With a slight crimson glow, said woman said thank you. But this guy stuck around a bit, possibly hoping to say a word or two but didn’t and swiftly split. That following day: both smiling on platform.

22 The Letter E in every word

The eight-minutes-gone-eight passenger vehicle, direction ‘the smoke’, stopped beside the elevated concrete under grey winter skies. One female, wearing her beige overcoat over darkened footwear, embarked before heading speedily seat-wards. While resting her backside, one male, whose hairstyle coiled, approached her. He held her neckwear she’d dropped unaware moments before. She blushed somewhat, offered her gratitude. He lingered, seemed like he wanted some conversation however, he maintained silence before stepping aside. The next daybreak they were seen exchanging smiles.

21 Alliteration

The sunrise city service stopped at the station under a silvery sky.
A woman, who was wearing an off-white wardrobe with waders, wormed her way in and went with whip to where waited a window seat. Simultaneous to sitting on said seat she was suited by a swain with spirally strands who sent back her scarf she seemed to have scattered southwards.

Beauty blushed a bit, but blessed the beau. He lingered, longing then lurched off. The subsequent sunrise they were seen sending smiles.

20 Simile

The 8:08 train to London stopped at the platform under a sky as wintry as a frozen windscreen. A woman, who was dressed in an overcoat as beige as a sandy beach in southern climes and boots as black as a river of spilled ink got onboard and moved as quick as a dolphin dancing through the waves to find a seat. Upon sitting down she was confronted by a man, with hair as curly as a bowl of kale who was holding her scarf that she had dropped like a handkerchief in olden day films. She blushed a little the colour of pink sky in the morning and said thank you. He lingered like a pimple, it seemed like he had wanted to say something, but didn’t and walked off as quick as he had arrived. The next morning they were seen exchanging smiles.

19 Triolet

The man had returned a scarf she had dropped
Onboard the 8:08 train
But he didn’t speak and away he had hopped
The man had returned a scarf she had dropped
She had blushed and then time had stopped
Then they had smiled the following day
For the man had returned a scarf she had dropped
Onboard the 8:08 train

18 To Do List

Get on train
Find a seat
Blush when confronted by man
Say thank you to man
Smile at the man the following day

Get on train
Pick up scarf
Confront woman
Give scarf back to woman
Linger, say nothing
Walk off
Smile at woman the following day

17 Text Speak

Da 8:08 train 2 LDN stopD @ da pltfrm undR a wintry sky. A wmn, hu wz dressD n a beige overcoat n blk boots, got onboard n muvD qkly 2 fnd a seat. Upon sittN dwn she wz confrontd by a mn, w curly hair, hu wz holdN her scarf dat she had dropD. She blushed a lil, sed thx. He lingered, it seemD lk he had wntd 2 sa somit, bt didn’t n wlkD off. Da nxt AM dey wer cn xchangin :)s.

16 Film Trailer

(Fade from black) to clip of train rolling into station. (fade to black)

VOICEOVER: “It’s another day on the commute to work”.
TEXT ON SCREEN: From The Consequences of Inspiration…

(Fade from black) to clip of woman watching train as it rolls into station (fade to black)

VOICEOVER: “The wintry sky reflects the ordinary.”
TEXT ON SCREEN: …Comes an astonishing first movie production

(Fade from black) to clip of woman getting onboard train (fade to black)

BLACK SCREEN VOICEOVER: “But today is different..”

(Fade from black) to clip of the scarf falling (fade to black)


(Fade from black) to clip of man staring at woman. (fade to black)


15 Unreal Conditional

If the 8:08 train hadn’t stopped, she wouldn’t have got onboard.
If she hadn’t got onboard, she wouldn’t have dropped her scarf.
If she hadn’t dropped her scarf, he wouldn’t have picked it up, given it back and she wouldn’t have blushed and said thanks and he wouldn’t have lingered awkwardly and then walked off and the following day they wouldn’t have exchanged smiles.

14 Sonnet

Was eight past eight when came the morning train
As under wintry skies onboard she went
Black boots beige coat played out the so mundane
But this was no run of the mill ascent
For as she got onboard her scarf so fell
without her knowing it was then in hand
A man had picked it up and just as well
For now he went to her and made his stand
Returning it to where she had sat down
A blush, a smile, thank you was sent his way
He stood, quite still and felt much like a clown
Could not utter a word as off he made
When next they met upon their morning trials
They saw each others eyes and traded smiles

13 A Play

Scene ONE
 (on the station platform)
A train pulls slowly into the station under a wintry sky at 8 a.m. in the morning

Scene 2
(platform / train)

WOMAN dressed in beige overcoat and black boots, not smiling, gets onboard quickly. Her scarf falls off behind her.

MAN following behind bends down and picks it up.

(train carriage)

MAN approaches WOMAN who is sat down and hands her the scarf.

WOMAN: “Thank you.” (looking at man, blushing a little)

MAN stands for a couple of seconds, suggests he wants to say something but doesn’t, makes his exit.

(platform the next morning)

MAN and WOMAN exchange smiles when passing.