Stuck for what to write about but you want to write something. Here are some historical references from the first week of march just begging to be rewritten.
This series Rewrite History will be covered once a week for the next few weeks. Let me know what you think and if you would like more. Also, if you happen to write one of these exercises link it in the comments below, we would love to read them.
Aim for less then a1000 words. Try not to be too descriptive. Make them quick and sharp and fun to read.
You do not need to know what really happened, take a little piece and use your imagination.
Don’t think too deeply on the subject. This is about you, writing creatively, without restrictions and rules barring the length. Be fun, be silly. Turn a little incident into an alien invasion. Go with your gut and have fun. After all, isn’t that what writing is all about?
2007: The Swiss Army accidentally invaded Liechtenstein, as troops incorrectly map-read their way into it during a military exercise. A 171-strong Swiss company had travelled two kilometres into Liechtenstein before realizing their error. Liechtenstein has made light of the intrusion, saying they only knew about it when the Swiss told them.
Exercise: Write the story of a soldier from this group. Hear him debate directions with another member? What went wrong that they got so lost? Have them realise where they actually are to finish.
My Thoughts: This group was doing fine until the storm hit, a storm like they had never seen before. It was all they could do to keep moving. They honestly thought they were going in the right(ish) direction. When the storm abated, things did not look quite right and the map reader was more then a little embarrassed.
1944: A train stops in a tunnel near Salerno in the Apennine Mountains, and more than 500 people on board suffocate and die due to toxic carbon monoxide fumes.
This is one for those who like the darker side of writing.
Exercise: Play either one who is suffocating, one who is trying to rescue, or an entity such as the grim reaper. What are people doing? What are the conversations like? What caused the train to stop in the first place?
My Thoughts: The train collided with a doorway to another world. The Fey were not too happy about this. These people had quite the unexpected battle on their hands as mischief run wild. Every step forward wound up two steps back.
1925: Normally Congress would have quite a bit to do on the eve of the end of the current session. However, this time around it was different for both the House and the Senate. There was little for these branches of the U.S. government to debate on during this time.
Exercise: With so little to do or talk about what did these high and mighty men of the age get up to. Was there gambling in the house, did they debate philosophy, gossip about the town or discuss the future. What do they talk about when there’s nothing to talk about.
My Thoughts: I would write this in script form with a lot of banter between made up characters. They would discuss the zombie survival methods. I bet they did that even in 1925, it seems to be an idea engraved in us so deeply.
1933: Franklin D. Roosevelt was inaugurated as the 32nd president of the United States pledging to lead the country out of the Great Depression.
Exercise: Imagine the day he was made president, the celebrations in the streets the promises he made. Be someone watching him, someone who voted for him, someone who really wants him to change the world. Write emotion through actions.
My Thoughts: I would focus here on a feeling of euphoria. Cheering till one is hoarse, clapping until hands are sore, crying with sheer joy. Positive thoughts for the future.
1929: A fire had destroyed 320 cars that were displayed in an Auto Show. This unfortunate circumstance took place in Los Angeles, California.
Exercise: How did the fire really start? Was it you and your friends? Was it a supernatural force? Was it a prank gone wrong? Write the story from the point of view of someone who knows exactly what really happened.
My Thoughts: The fire was a by-product of my investigation. I had that serial killer cornered this time, didn’t think there was anyway he would get away, then he started a fire in one of the cars, a fire that quickly got out of control. I would write the events.
1965: A team of 20 officers search the Northern Bushland in Canada. They were on the lookout for three men bearing weapons while speeding away in a stolen car. The three fugitives had a hostage in their possession as well. This high-speed chase had begun shortly after a robbery of a private home had taken place. At the end of the chase, the three robbers had escaped into a thick brush of bush. The hostage was left behind.
Exercise: Write the story of the hostage. What was really going on? Did a robbery take place or was it a cover up? Was he/she really a hostage?
My Thoughts: A spy story. The hostage was a regular civilian caught in the middle. The spy needed to get away. The police were not after him for burglary, it was a conspiracy theory to stop him and the knowledge he held. You told him to take you hostage, told him to leave you at the border. I would write that chase from this point of view.
1964: Seven prisoners had broken out of the Dallas County Jail. One of the seven escaped convicts had taken a hostage. The hostage was freed and the prisoner who had committed the kidnapping was put back behind bars. Within two hours, four others were caught and also put back into custody. Two others had been put into Bedlam, a facility that was usually referred to at the time as an “insane asylum”
Exercise: Play the officers in charge of recapturing these guys. Did you do it on your own? Was it your team? Was it with help from an ex-con? Did you make a deal with the devil? Was you friends with these escapees who just wanted a day of fun?
My Thoughts: I have a good, extra-terrestrial, friend who likes to play pranks. This is the last time I tell him things need to ‘shake up a little around here’.
Are You Up To The Task?
Will you write one of these a day for the next week as a quick writing exercise? Do you think it will be fun? Have you re-written history before? Would you write a book on any one of these ideas? Comment your thoughts below.