- Books, Literature, and Writing
Writing Exercise: Helping Readers to Visualize Your Topic
Developing Your Descriptive Writing Skills
It is important for writers to hone their craft. Just like any other hobby, art, or passion, your talent for writing is something that you must develop through hard work and dedication. I have developed a series of writing exercises that I have been outlining in my writing blog, The Elusive Muse, that are designed to spark your creativity and give you the opportunity to engage in meaningful practice. One of these exercises is outlined below.
- Writing as Art
You're not just a writer, you're an artist. Embracing writing as a true art form can help any author elevate their work to a higher plane.
There’s a scene in the movie, Mask , starring Cher in which a young man must help a blind girl to visualize things such as color and texture. Some of you may remember this scene. Leading the girl through the kitchen at a summer camp, the young man stops before a boiling pot of red potatoes. He scoops one of the potatoes from the pot, tossing it from hand to hand to avoid burning himself, and places it into her hands. She also bobbles the hot potato about as the young man describes the sensation to her as “red.”
He then finds a bag of cotton balls and asks her to hold out her hands once more. As she gently squeezes the light cotton balls in her palms, he explains that they are “billowy.” Through his use of props the blind woman begins to “see” the world around her in ways that she never had before.
- Writing: Let Your Imagination be Your Guide
One of my favorite quotes is, "imagination is more important than knowledge." Those who embrace this philosophy can become great writers and truly understand that sometimes your story will write itself, instead of the other way around. Open your mind
Your task is to make your readers share your experiences through the art of descriptive storytelling. First you must select a handful of objects each of which is different in size and texture from the others. You might select things such as silk fabric, pinecones, smooth stones, pumice, sand, rice, M&Ms, pennies, peppers, wool, pine needles, fleece, or anything else that you think would make a great prop. Part of the fun is to select items that you must seek out. You can take a hike outdoors. The fresh air and sunshine, even on a brisk day, might enhance your sense of creativity.
- Writing Exercises for Inspiration
If you're looking to ignite your creative impulses and write the perfect piece of work, try a few of these suggestions. Sometimes inspiration comes from the most unexpected places...like hub pages!
Close your eyes and mix up the items on a table in front of you, or better yet, have someone else do it. Keeping your eyes closed, select two or three different objects to use in your exercise. The purpose of keeping your eyes closed is so that you can’t purposefully select items that are easier to write about. Once you have selected your items, choose one to begin with. Close your eyes again and feel the object. You can take as little or as much time with this as you like. Memorize every imperfection, sharp edge, smooth surface and other features as you trace over them with your curious fingers.
As you sit down to write, imagine how you would describe the feel of each object to someone who could not see it. This “someone” is a reader of your work. Your challenge is to make them “see” the object as if it were laid out before them. Be sure to be descriptive and use plenty of metaphors and/ or similes to liven up the work.
Have fun and good luck!
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