EXERCISE 2

The Riddle Game

Now that you've read the story, you know what is happening in the picture, but what does the picture mean to you? Why does this particular picture stick in your mind?

To discover more about your connection to the picture, we're going to play a "riddle game." In a riddle game, people have to guess the identity of a character by being given everything but the name. That will take you under the words to experience what is going on inside the character.

Here's how to play the game.

STEP INTO the picture you've chosen.

USE all your senses to receive all the impressions you get. Do you see, hear, smell, or touch anything new?

For example,

I smell blood in the butcher shop. I hadn't picked that up before.

STEP into the point of view of the character who is your central focus.

Hint: It may be a non-human character, a tower or a tree, for example. Treat the subject of your attention as if it is alive and has its own point of view.

jack-handsLOOK OUT from the character's point of view. NOTE what the character is sensing and feeling.

JOT these impressions down.

In six to ten lines, let your character EXPRESS who he or she is and what is going on. Remember the catch: the character doesn't say who he or she is by name.

END with the line "Who am I?"

READ your short monologue aloud so you can hear the voice of the character.

For example,

I'm standing in a butcher shop.

I'm a thirteen-year-old boy.

I'm hungry. I'm always hungry. I'm hungry now.

I just sold the cow to the butcher.

He can't use her. She's too lean.

The butcher has just finished scolding me for not taking care of her.

I'm not supposed to cry, but I want to.

It's not my fault we're poor!

The butcher just gave me a handful of beans.

He says they're not ordinary.

They're shinin' like the colors of the rainbow.

They must be magic. I know they are!

Who am I?