A very descriptive day


There are many writing exercises out there to help us budding authors to improve on our writing skills.  I don’t usually go in for any of them because I feel that if you are a writer, you write.  Words should come easily, sentences should flow, gripping tales should leak from every pore in our bodies. 

But we all have our off days, weeks (MONTHS!) and need something to help us.  So, here are two of the (hopefully) more unusual and (perhaps) fun, ones.

Number One

Try to add a descriptive word or words into every sentence or conversation you have. 

The point:  You can build up a vast, personalised, descriptive dictionary.  This is useful for any novelist.  We all know that a novel packed with an array of wonderful, original descriptive words, makes for more exciting, enticing reading.  When you are forced to use descriptive language in every day conversations, it will make you more aware of the enormous scope there is in descriptive language.

This, BTW, is far harder than it sounds.  Think about it.  How often do you really use descriptive language when chatting to a mate or a family member.  If, for example,  someone asks you how you are (a common question, usually used in passing or to start a conversation, or just to be polite), what do you reply?  I know what I say. Either “Fine thanks, how are you?” or “good, thanks” or some such generic answer. 

Imagine if you came across someone whose response to your polite “How do you do?” was,

“I’m feeling reinvigorated, rejuvenated and revitalised!  How are you?” 

or

“I am enormously excited at the prospect of having a whimsical,beautiful, energy-filled day!” 

How would you react to that? (OK, now depending on how your own day has started, you could think that person is a right arse but I would say that on the whole, the above response(s) to a rather mundane question would be rather refreshing).

Now that was just an introduction.  Picture the phantasmagorical, ludicrous,  astonishing, mind-blowing great day you will have if you include descriptive words in every conversation.  You will shock, entice, excite, and (quite possibly) aggravate all your friends and family.  And, not only will you be able to use those very words to enhance your writing but you will have accumulated a database of reactions of the participants to your experiment to use in your writing.  Try it.  Let me know what happened…

Number Two

This is probably my favourite one.  Sit in your most beloved room, on your most comfortable chair.  Have a good look around the room.  Now close your eyes.  Which object in the room jumps out at you?  Keep that object in your head.  Now, write about it as if it were a living thing.  Write from its perspective.  Try to write at least one paragraph (more if you are so inclined).

The point:  Stretching your imagination.  If you can successfully convince your readers that the object is a living thing, you know you can convince your readers of any other fictional piece you write.

Funnily enough, I have seen this done, very successfully by Michael Cargill (Hope you don’t mind :D).  Now this doesn’t mean you are useless as a writer if you cannot do it, nor does it mean you are a fantastic writer if you can.  It’s merely an exercise to help you think out of the box.  Have fun with it.  Be as creative as you can.  You will be surprised by the results.

Hope you enjoyed my ramblings today!

Copyright  ©  270412 by Karen Payze

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2 Comments

  1. You are right, if we don’t practice in our every day life then the words just aren’t there to call on when we need them.

    I get similar practice to the one you suggest every couple of weeks at Toastmasters International where we have a role called the Grammarian who encourages us to use a word of the day.

    I also decided to have a go and issue a challenge at the same time and now have a ‘Weekly Words’ post on my blog, and this weeks word is loquacious.

    • Thanks for your comment! What a great idea of a weekly words post!
      – Karen

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