15 Sentences

12 Mar

I’ve got a warm-up writing assignment for a class I’m taking, wondering if you want to play along?

It’s a 15-sentence, one-paragraph portrait, a popular writing exercise developed by the late Wendy Bishop. Think of a person you know, and this exercise will focus on them.

First, for the title, pick either a color or emotion that represents this person to you. You won’t mention the person by name in this story.

Begin your first sentence, with one of these phrases:

  • You stand there …
  • No one is here …
  • In this (memory, dream, photograph [choose any one]), you are . . .
  • I think sometimes..

Then, follow these rules for the next 14 sentences.

2: Write a sentence with a color in it.

3: Write a sentence with a part of the body in it.

4. Write a sentence with a simile.

5. Write a single sentence [no joining of two or more sentences by a semi-colon or by coordinating conjunctions] of exactly 25 words.

6. Write a sentence of exactly eight words.

7. Write a sentence with a piece of clothing in it.

8. Write a sentence with a wish in it.

9.  Write a sentence with an animal in it.

10.  Write a sentence in which three or more words of the same part of speech [nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs] alliterate.

11. Write a sentence with two and only two commas properly/normally used.

12. Write a sentence with a smell in it.

13. Write a sentence that could carry an exclamation point (!), a sentence that you might normally put an exclamation point in, but do not use the exclamation point.

14. Write a sentence that connects in some way to the first line.

15. Write a sentence to end this portrait that uses the exact word you chose for the title.

I’ll post my effort tomorrow. I’d love to link to a group of these.

18 Responses to “15 Sentences”

  1. Jenny March 12, 2010 at 6:27 pm #

    Rather than post the entire thing as a comment – here is the link to mine:


    • Bridget March 14, 2010 at 10:42 pm #

      Jenny, for some reason your blog didn’t want to let me comment. I swear I’m not a bot or spammer though! 🙂 Here’s what I was trying to say:

      This is a beautiful post.

      (Who knew it was possible to pack so much into 15 sentences?)

  2. ingrid March 12, 2010 at 9:28 pm #

    Can I get my 13 yr old (one of the twins) to do it? Actually I already asked if he would and he said yes! He’s weird like that. LOL

    Happy Friday!

    • lettergirl March 13, 2010 at 8:38 am #

      I think having one of your twins do it would be awesome, Ingrid! Can’t wait to see what he comes up with!

  3. lettergirl March 13, 2010 at 8:37 am #

    Jenny, just beautiful! I’m so glad you decided to play!

  4. mcwhittle March 13, 2010 at 10:18 am #

    ..made for an interesting/challenging morning..


  5. Dawn's mom March 13, 2010 at 8:32 pm #

    Snowwhite’s visit.

    You stand there peering in to the little side window flanking my door
    I go black wth agitation because I am busy and hate to descend the stairs.
    Wearily i trudge toward the dinging bell dragging my feet while my mind feels trapped.
    I smile but the grin is forced.
    The fact that you are 87 and have chosen me as a bud is not flattering in the least since i am 66 and noninterested.
    However you are teaching me to be patient.
    I open the door and you seem a bit astonished to see uncombed hair and my robe.
    I wish you could hear me without my having to scream.
    The dog leaps crazily about reacting to the thrice rung doorbell.
    You rattle, tattle, and saddle my senses with tales of loons I never heard of.
    I make a feeble attempt to not feel trapped, ensnared , and resentful .
    The stove is emanating the rich aroma of beef stew as you yak on and on.
    At length, you shuffle toward your chair’s edge as if you are really intending to depart.
    Donning the shucked shoes, you teeter toward the entrance.
    Your little snow-white headed frame ambles across the street and I wonder who I will talk to when i am your ge.

    • Bridget March 14, 2010 at 9:51 am #

      Wow. No wonder Dawn’s such a great writer! You both have such a honest, sit-at-the-kitchen-table-and-chat feel to your writing that I love.

  6. Bridget March 14, 2010 at 9:53 am #

    Writing mine now. Once I get my computer back, I’ll post.

  7. bernicekearney March 17, 2010 at 10:21 am #

    Dawn – I love this writing experiment… thanks so much for sharing (yours was – as always – beautifully written)…
    I took the liberty of playing along – I’ve posted my effort here…



  1. Expectant « Not Going Postal - March 13, 2010

    […] This is the result of a writing exercise I posted about yesterday. If you want to play along, directions are here: 15 Sentences. […]

  2. Awed « SA Busy Kids - March 14, 2010

    […] This blog is the result of a challenge by my friend Dawn on her blog, Not Going Postal. It’s a 15-sentence story. If you want to play along, directions are here: 15-sentences. […]

  3. Contentment | The Ivey League - March 14, 2010

    […] posted about a writing prompt she was given as a class assignment. Using the directions provided here, you’re supposed to write a 15 sentence paragraph about someone whom you never specifically […]

  4. Go, Read Some Pretty Things « Not Going Postal - March 15, 2010

    […] You can read her story about a sweet but needy elderly neighbor here, in the comments: Snow White’s Visit […]

  5. Lettergirl’s writing exercise « Happy Birthday 2 Me - March 16, 2010

    […] pal Lettergirl writes a wonderful blog called “Not Going Postal.” Last week she wrote a post encouraging her loyal readers to participate in a writing exercise. Lettergirl’s effort is […]

  6. I Love U 2 Pieces * « Word Gumbo - March 17, 2010

    […] Here was the assignment. […]

  7. On Writing – Using Prompts « To Undertake to Express - March 21, 2010

    […] up their wonderful prompting abilities: Promptedtowrite Writer’s Digest Wendy Bishop’s “15 Sentences” as posted by lettergirl WritingFix Creativity […]

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: