Writing Exercises


Echo(15 mins, copying/typing and reading aloud);Title and Author: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The failure of his death brought back his lost prestige in a few hours. The same people who invented the story that he had sold the war for a room with walls made of gold bricks defined the attempt at suicide as an act of honor and proclaimed him a martyr. Then, when he rejected the Order of Merit awarded him by the president of the republic, even his most bitter enemies filed through the room asking him to withdraw recognition of the armistice and to start a new war. The house was filled with gifts meant as amends. Impressed finally by the massive support of his former comrades in arms, Colonel Aureliano Buendia did not put aside the possibility of pleasing them. On the contrary, at a certain moment he seemed so enthusiastic with the idea of a new war that Colonel Gerineldo Marquez thought that he was only waiting for a pretext to proclaim it. The pretext was offered, in fact, when the president of the republic refused to award any military pensions to former combatants, Liberal or Conservative, until each case was examined by a special commission and the award approved by the congress. “That’s an outrage,” thundered Colonel Aureliano Buendia. “They’ll die of old age waiting for the mail to come.” For the first time he left the rocker that Ursula had bought for his convalescence, and, walking about the bedroom, he dictated a strong message to the president of the republic. In that telegram, which was never made public, he denounced the first violation of the Treaty of Neerlandia and threatened to proclaim war to the death if the assignment of pensions was not resolved within two weeks.


Reflection(10 mins, highlight, write observations and thoughts):

Long, continuous narrative. Hint of outrageous stories, magic realism being Marquez’ prominent style. Quotes within the chunk of text.


Imitation(10 mins, create a writing prompt, then write):

Derogatory is an understatement for what he said. “You will never be good enough.” From the lens of their broken marriage, he fully understood where she was coming from. And so he accepted those words like they were absolutely true. He remembered them like a prayer. Like a song. Like his name. “You will never be good enough.” It echoed through the walls of his rotting apartment. It became a living, breathing monster. He allowed the creature to stay. It slept where he slept. It ate breakfast with him. He cooked dinner for him. They celebrated his birthday. But the stench became unbearable for his neighbors. One day, an old woman knocked on his door. “Julio, your house fucking smells. I know you’ve been letting that creature stay at your house for free. At least make him pay rent! Or let him help you. You’re testing my patience, mind you!” The landlady threatened. And so he named this monster and called him Larry. He helped Larry apply for a job. Writing a resume for him was challenging but they still managed to get him a job at a nearby grocery store. Larry had been working at the store for five months when Julio decided that it’s time to have a serious talk with him. “Larry, you need to move out. This? This is not working for me. The neighbors have been complaining.” explained Julio. “But, but.. I don’t understood..” said Larry. And it turned out he’s right. That night, Julio packed his clothes and slept on a cold pavement, a few meters away from the grocery store where Larry worked. Larry had been paying their full rent and Julio wasn’t even going to work. 

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