1. Take first five novels from your bookshelf.
2. Book 1 — first sentence.
3. Book 2 — last sentence on page 50.
4. Book 3 — second sentence on page 100.
5. Book 4 — next to the last sentence on page 150.
6. Book 5 — final sentence of the book.
7. Make the five sentences into a paragraph.
8. Feel free to “cheat” to make it a better paragraph.
9. Name your sources.
10.Post to your blog.
I took the first five novels I found hanging around my desk and did cheat a bit on the order to make a better paragraph, but didn’t tweak any of the words —
“In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. We sat back in the seat together and the top of the carriage made it dark. Across the yard came four people. Leaping not into hay but into the black underwater colour of creek, walking naked to the farmhouse, chewing rhubarb, clothes under one arm. For some minutes, before she fell into a deep, dreamless sleep, she just lay quiet, smiling at the ceiling.”
Franny & Zooey, JD Salinger
A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck
The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
In the Skin of the Lion, Michael Ondaatje
I wonder if the same exercise would be fun with poetry?