Le Guin Exercises #2 - Punctuation

Punctuation? Punctuation! Lot, and lots, and lots of punctuation!

This week's Ursula LeGuin prompt (from Steering the Craft) is to try writing a piece without punctuation so that, as an author, you notice why you use punctuation. I added onto the prompt in the following ways:

1. I took @anndeecandy's memoir prompt for the day for a topic, allowing myself 10 minutes to write with no corrections.

Topic: A time when you've been an outsider.

2. I also decided to punctuate the piece abnormally afterwards, and see if I could make it funny. It hurt my heart to punctuate incorrectly, and only a few parts were funny.

3. I decided to punctuate the piece normally. (I wanted to delete some words to make it cleaner, but I went with my "no corrections" assignment from above.)


And after all that.... I'm pretty sure I still want to stick with punctuation.


Here goes:

An outsider. No punctuation.

There are people who know how to talk to each other you know they like talking they like visiting they like seeking out the frontier of another human being when you put these people in a situation with loud crowds their heart just jumps up with excitement at all the wonder they’re about to experience you can just feel the bouncing emanate from their souls let me tell you this is not what happens to me first of all I want to take a step back build a little circle around myself and find myself a corner a good corner with at least three tall people blocking the view the corner should however be near an exit because being in the corner is no good if it means you can’t get out so I find a corner with an exit and then look for someone who might be somewhat manageable standing at a party where everyone else is chatting and refraining from chatting yourself is like blasting a siren from your head informing all the strange strangers of the world of your existence they will find you and tell you all sorts of stories you have no interest in as well as compel you to tell them details about yourself as though that is something you wanted to do at all I would rather jump off a cliff you think and you’re already planning where to find a parachute but they’ve begun their conversation and you’re in trouble so it is imperative you see to find a manageable person to work as your front man you can stand to talk to them and they can keep all those other people from talking to you marrying someone is a useful method for dealing with this problem until that person you married decides they want to chat with other people beside you but if you can keep them in your corner and get them chatting with your three front men you might do okay you can stand behind them all breath deep breaths and eye the exit the entire time just don’t let them know that’s why you married then they might find it to be a little disheartening

An outsider. Funny punctuation.

There are people who know. How to talk to each other, you know they like talking. They like visiting, they like seeking out the frontier. Of another human being, when you put these people in a situation with loud crowds, their heart just jumps up with excitement. At all the wonder they’re about to experience, you can just feel the bouncing emanate. From their souls let me tell you, this is not what happens. To me, first of all, I want. To take a step back, build a little circle around myself, and find myself. A corner. A good corner with at least three tall people. Blocking the view, the corner should however be near an exit. Because being in the corner is no good. If it means you can’t get out. So I find a corner with an exit and then look. For someone who might be somewhat manageable, standing at a party where everyone else is chatting, and refraining from chatting yourself is like blasting a siren from your head. Informing all the strange strangers of the world of your existence, they will find you and tell you all sorts of stories. You have no interest in, as well as compel you to tell them. Details about yourself as though that is something you wanted to do. At all, I would rather jump off a cliff. You think, and you’re already planning. Where to find a parachute? But they’ve begun their conversation and you’re in trouble. So it is imperative you see. To find a manageable person to work as your front man you can stand. To talk to them and they can keep all those other people from talking. To you marrying someone is a useful method for dealing with this problem. Until that person you married decides they want to chat with other people beside you. But if you can keep them in your corner, and get them chatting with your three front men you might do okay. You can stand. Behind them all breath deep breaths and eye. The exit the entire time. Just don’t let them know. That’s why you married them. They might find it to be a little disheartening.

An outsider. Punctuation.

There are people who know how to talk to each other. You know: they like talking, they like visiting, they like seeking out the frontier of another human being. When you put these people in a situation with loud crowds, their heart just jumps up with excitement at all the wonder they’re about to experience. You can just feel the bouncing emanate from their souls.

Let me tell you, this is not what happens to me.

First of all, I want to take a step back, build a little circle around myself, and find myself a corner. A good corner, with at least three tall people blocking the view. The corner should, however, be near an exit. Because being in the corner is no good if it means you can’t get out.

So, I find a corner, with an exit, and then look for someone who might be somewhat manageable. Standing at a party where everyone else is chatting, and refraining from chatting yourself, is like blasting a siren from your head informing all the strange strangers of the world of your existence. They will find you and tell you all sorts of stories you have no interest in, as well as compel you to tell them details about yourself - as though that is something you wanted to do at all.

I would rather jump off a cliff, you think, and you’re already planning where to find a parachute, but they’ve begun their conversation, and you’re in trouble. So, it is imperative, you see, to find a manageable person to work as your front man. You can stand to talk to them, and they can keep all those other people from talking to you.

Marrying someone is a useful method for dealing with this problem, until that person you married decides they want to chat with other people beside you. But if you can keep them in your corner, and get them chatting with your three front men, you might do okay. You can stand behind them all, breath deep breaths, and eye the exit the entire time.


Just don’t let them know that’s why you married them. They might find it to be a little disheartening.


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