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.

12 One Syllable Words

It was just past eight of the hour and the sky was grey as the train came to a halt. A girl, who wore a beige coat and black boots, got on the train and with haste found a seat. As she sat down she was met by a guy with curls in his hair, who held her scarf that he had seen fall as she got on the train. Her face went quite red as she said thanks. He stood for a while but said not a word and then he went off. The next day their eyes met with a smile.

11 Horatian Ode

Oh scarf! belonging to her
on the 8:08 train that morning
you fell gentle from her shoulder
while winter skies were yawning
Yet you were found amidst the rush
And returned by a man who stood a while
in fact lingered for something like forever
Oh scarf, you had made her softly blush
and the next day they at each other smiled
Was it your plan to bring them together?

09 Reported

An observer of the event at the time (a male commuter) said that it had happened onboard the 8:08 train. He said that the weather was wintry and that the woman in question had been wearing a beige overcoat. He said that as she had got onboard, she had dropped her scarf and that a man close behind her had picked it up. The commuter continued by saying that there had been a giving back of the scarf just after she had sat down. The woman had apparently blushed and the man, who had curly hair, had been at a loss for words before he walked off. The next morning the commuter told us that he had seen them smiling at each other but no attempts had been made at conversation.

08 Metaphorical

Soon after dawn, under a sheet of cold iron, a brown female rat squeezed into a toilet roll with others of its plague bound for the sprawling metropolis.

When snug, the rat was opposed by another of the plague. This one, a male with a coiled tail was returning her neck wrap, which she had unknowingly abandoned.

Her face, a sudden soft rose left him stuck in the mud, on mute, before he hopped off.

1335 minutes later, two motionless lighthouses were observed beaming at each other.

07 Fortunately Unfortunately

Fortunately the 8:08 train was on time.
Unfortunately a woman dropped her scarf as she got onboard.
Fortunately she found a seat.
Unfortunately she was confronted by somebody.
Fortunately it was a man who had picked up her scarf.
Unfortunately she blushed.
Fortunately she said thank you.
Unfortunately the man lingered too long and said nothing.
Fortunately they saw each other again the next morning and exchanged smiles.

06 Word Play

I inserted the following random words into the story. In order.
(spring / medicine / trailer / bus / madman / well / junk / resort)

The 8:08 train stopped at the platform under a wintry sky. A woman, dressed in a beige overcoat and black boots got onboard with a spring in her step and moved quickly to find a seat.

Upon sitting down she realised she had forgotten to take her medicine that morning as she was confronted by a man who was holding her scarf that she had dropped. It was like a trailer for a film. She blushed a little, said thank you. These kind of moments couldn’t happen on a bus she thought. It had to be a train.

He lingered, it seemed like he had wanted to say something, but didn’t. He felt stupid, like some kind of madman as he walked off. The next morning, surrounded by the junk and debris of everyday life, they were seen exchanging smiles that lifted their spirits for a moment much like looking at beach resorts in glossy magazines does.

03 Passive

The 8:08 train was brought to a stop at the platform under a wintry sky. It was boarded by a woman, who was dressed in a beige overcoat and black boots. Once she was onboard a seat was found and she was confronted by a man with curly hair who had been moved to pick up her scarf that had been dropped by her not a moment earlier. Her face was turned a shade of red by her inhibitions as she said thank you and he was held in a moment of indecision before his legs were used to walk off. The next morning they were seen exchanging smiles.

02 Cross Examination

Q:
A: The 8:08 Train to London
Q:
A: A Beige Overcoat and Black Boots
Q:
A: Curly hair. I don’t remember anything else.
Q:
A: She had dropped her scarf. He was handing it to her.
Q:
A: He didn’t say anything, but it seemed like he had wanted to.
Q:
A: Nothing else, he walked away.
Q:
A: Yes, the next day. They were smiling at each other.
Q:
A: No, I haven’t
Q:
A: No.

01 Retrograde

They exchanged smiles. The day before the woman had blushed as a man, with curly hair, lingered while returning her scarf that she had dropped. She hadn’t noticed it fall as in her beige coat and black boots she quickly got on board, under a wintry sky, the 8:08 train to London.

Eight minutes past Eight

The 8:08 train to London stopped at the platform under a wintry sky. A woman 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.

Exercises in style