Couch to 80k Week 4 Day 4 – The Not of Life

Couch to 80k podcast is a writer’s bootcamp with daily exercises by Tim Clare and is part of his Death by 1000 paper cuts blog.

So, we’re continuing on this week with different ways to approach the writing, a sort of “Elements of Style” (Tim’s title).

It’s odd, I’m not entirely sure if I’m learning or doing well on these, I suppose each one is designed to give you confidence to not be afraid to try them, and maybe I’m a little exhausted at the moment (easter holidays, at the in-laws, driving all day, could do with a nap). Anyway.

Today’s task: take yesterday’s narration and rewrite it but using words of only one syllable. This was easy in bits, murder in others. Didn’t even finish the text in the time alloted (thankfully ran out of time at a really hard bit…)

If you’re still with me, well done, this is pretty much the half way mark on this course. Once I’m done here, I’ll be digging through an Ursula LeGuinn book I bought called “Steering the Craft” which I’m told is also very good.

Here’s the text (the title from yesterday was “The Emptiness of Existence” which became “The Not of Life” which ..er.. may be a more fun title)


The Not of Life by T De Vine

While he sat, the world passed. All things seem to move but not he, in the still of the time he heard the plop of post fall to the floor.

At this time, in this place, there was little buzz. Not the slow open of the post nor the name of the health place, and not the words on the page, like the guts of a shark on the floor in the first act of Jaw did not cause his thoughts to turn dark. There was a small joy, the time was soon, the place was near and while no one could take him there and back he could, at least, drive himself.

Of course, this early thought was fool hardy.

Tum-Cam. He had searched for it on the net. But the words had no oopmth. Lots of words no feels. At times he felt his heart was not joined to the feel of the world.

The day came. The clouds cleared, the roads thinned out and it felt like this would be it. A small op, he would know next week and his world would again be a the dull null of life.

The amp said his name and he leapt up – his face full of cheer that knew nothing of what was to start. He put on the gown, stripped off every single thing he was, left with just the small gown.

He lay down as told, like a child at night. He felt safe.

The tube went in. Bump bump bump down his throat, going deep deep deep.

Then he gagged. Trying not to sick up the tube he had in him. Life is like this, he thought. Life in bird’s eye view.

The doc would look and tell him what was.