Friday Writing Exercise 0 Comments

Friday Writing Exercise

Today’s writing exercise is based off the theme for the autumn issue of Voiceworks. Hopefully it will get your creative juices flowing if you haven’t already thought about submitting. To start with, here’s the blurb for ‘Thing':

Under your bed lies the cosmos of the unspoken—bogeymen with limbs like evil trees, crusty photographs, the Power Ranger you pushed your brother off the seesaw for. Mother told you you’d outgrow it all, like that mole on your shoulder, or your blondness. But you buy into it anyway: the promise of something greater than your bed—a raft in a sea of ideas that, now, are still beyond you. Grief, speed, aching feet on cobblestone, your first night on a park bench with The One. Father says you’ll spend eternity climbing staircases that lead nowhere; you’re too prim, too moody, an Aquarian. You fidget with the nail polish you stole from the milk bar, twist the lid and remember the rush of running faster and faster until the welts on your back lost their purple. Out your window you see leaves falling like confetti. You imagine them on you, want to shake them off like this whole ‘life’ thing. You think someone might’ve put a hex on you.

The aim is to write a paragraph describing an object, idea or situation in a way that you haven’t heard is described before. This can be a bit tricky, because obviously the reader still has to know what you’re talking about – but give it a go. For example, if you’re describing a beach steer away from descriptions like ‘salty’. Perhaps use words like ‘briny’ or even come up with another kind of taste or sensory experience associated with the ocean.

Readers can quickly become bored with imagery that is too familiar to them (we all now that the night is dark and summer is hot). In saying that, there’s no need to go overboard. No matter how many adjectives you throw in there, a chair will always be a chair.

Write the paragraph as fast as you can (about five minutes is preferable). You’ll be surprised by what you can come up with while under pressure.

In need of some extra inspiration? Why not buy yourself an early Christmas present by ordering Voiceworks #91 (which launches tonight, folks!). If you’re already a subscriber than hold onto your seat – because something awesome is about to arrive in your letterbox.

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