#StartWritingFiction: Fact & Fiction

I signed up for The Open University’s Start Writing Fiction course. So far, I’m enjoying it! The professor has a British accent, so that’s a definite plus. I’m hoping it will get me back in the swing of things so I’ll be ready for National Novel Writing Month next month!

I’m going to throw my practice exercises up here on the blog to keep me honest. The first exercise is to write two paragraphs. First, a paragraph that includes one fact and three fictions, and second, a paragraph that includes three facts and one fiction.

Naturally, I wrote about spiders:

1&3: The venom of the black widow spider is fatal if swallowed. She is brazen, large, and her fangs glisten with venom as she stalks her prey through the grass. Because of her nearsightedness, she has no idea what hapless prey she has come upon until she is already nearly on top of it. The venom of a black widow, if you survive the danger of collecting it, can be used to poison your enemies and leave no trace: the perfect crime.

3&1: I rescued a wolf spider this morning, a male, who had set out on an epic journey in the name of love and instead found himself trapped in another spider’s web. He broke off one of his own legs trying to escape, but he couldn’t get free on his own. I thought he was dead when I saw him, but after a moment, he resumed struggling. Once I cut him free, he headed off in the wrong direction – the mate he was looking for lives only a few feet away, under the fridge, surrounded by the cast-off exoskeletons of her prey. If only he had gone left instead of right, perhaps he could have found true love – but, could she ever love a seven-legged spider? Perhaps it’s better that he went on, heart unbroken, back out into the world alone.

If you’re interested, the only fact in the first paragraph is that Black Widow spiders are nearsighted (and it’s adorable). The only fiction in the second paragraph is that I do not, as far as I know, have a female wolf spider living under my fridge. First practice exercise complete! 🙂

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