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Specification, plural, eclectic - Three Word Exercise

Updated on August 21, 2011

Look, it's like this, I've got a novel to write, so I'm really going to have to get on with it, because my procrastination is really starting to annoy me. So I've come up with this plan that will allow me to stay on HubPages, and write my novel at the same time. For quite some time I've messed about with the humble three-word exercise, and I find it a very useful exercise for warming up my writing muscles, and for getting something down on paper. The principle is very simple - all you do is, you choose three words at random (I often find that it can work better if they're words I've never heard of, or can't remember the meaning of) and then you write a little scene around them. You can make up your own rules, but I tend to stick with just one: the words are not to be changed at all; in other words, the words have to be used in the tense that you first chose them in, and you're not allowed to add any prefixes or suffixes or abbreviate them in any way. So if you chose 'medication' you're not allowed to change it to 'unmedicated' or 'medicate' or 'medications', and so on. I don't usually try to keep them in the order I choose them - I'm happy to mix them up and use them whenever I can manage to slot them into the story.

So I thought that what I would do it this: one three-word exercise per day, which I will hub, to start me off and get my creative juices flowing (it's not procrastination really at all, because it only takes a very few minutes), and then get on with the novel. That way, I've written a quick creative hub, and am not spending several hours trying to make a hub that's all witty and funny, and still have energy and time left for the writing that might make me rich and famous! Sounds like a good plan to me. I will share them all with you - though when I say 'one three-word exercise per day' it's not very likely that I will manage to get it done every single day.

I will still write some of my usual longer and more thought-through hubs when the inspiration takes me :)

Hope you enjoy the exercises - hope they're not too awful, raw, naive, childish, stupid. They're likely to be rough, but the point of the exercise is just to get words on paper, and not to worry about the sense of them, or the accuracy of any of the statements made.


Monday 15th August - specification, plural, eclectic

My three words for today are specification, plural and eclectic. Here is the image my brain instantly came up with:

'The thing is, Brian,' Sheila peered over the rims of her Red or Dead glasses, new from Specsavers only the day before on a buy one pair get one half price offer, 'you haven't given me the exact specification for this particular job, and Brian, I'm good. Yes Brian, I'm good, but even I cannot work with so little. You've given me nothing Brian, nothing.' She sat back in her ergonomically designed chair specifically made for people with her kind of back problem, and pushed the glasses further up the bridge of her nose almost to the correct position. Brian resisted the urge to reach over and push them all the way up to the little groove which was where they looked as though they should rest.

He should not have taken this job; he was not a leader, he knew that, and when he'd heard that he would be line managing Sheila Thackeray a dread had entered his soul and had stayed there for the two years, five months and twenty-seven days since he had signed his contract and moved into his luxurious office. Realistically speaking he should have been happy here, blissfully so; he had been gifted the opportunity of working with such an eclectic mix of very talented people, most of whom were not like Sheila, most of whom were driven and focused as she was, but also welcoming and warm as she could never be. Sheila was something else. But at the same time, he couldn't help but fancy her.

He glanced up at Sheila, and with an embarrassing jolt realised that she was still glaring at him expectantly, waiting for a response.

'Well, I erm ... well, Sheila, I think it's probably ...'

The door flew open, and Marjorie burst in. Brian glanced up at the clock and saw that it was 12:30, almost time for lunch.

'What d'you guys want?' Marjorie sang cheerily, 'I'm on the sandwich run, what can I getcha?'

'Oh, I'll take a sun-dried tomato and mozzarella panini please Marjorie,' smiled Brian.

Sheila tutted in disgust. 'Oh Brian, I would've expected better from you.'

Brian looked at her, nonplussed. He could not imagine what was wrong with his choice of sandwich.

Sheila smirked. 'Panini is plural Brian, panino singular.' She rolled her eyes.


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