“Your first free write is to describe a setting,” my Creative Writing professor says. “Any setting. Go.”
My classmates’ pens hit paper like divers launching into a swimming pool – a blur of movement, and they’re off, splashes of syllables and sentences trailing in their wake. Meanwhile, I clutch the edge of the desk, my pencil forgotten in the kiddie pool.
“I cannot believe you would date him,” I say. “He’s clearly an idiot. Like 2% milk, just replace ‘milk’ with ‘brain cells.'”
Wait, I think, that’s dialogue, not setting. By the time I finish one sentence about a sprawling suburbia filled with shallow parents longing for their kids to do something other than each other, my professor calls time. I glance at my friend across from me, and I take a small breath of relief when I see she’s only written a couple of sentences.
Until she flips the page of her notebook, revealing several fleshed-out paragraphs. Go figure. Continue reading