Faye Arcand, How to Make Your Writing Better, My Twisted Writer Brain…

An Assignment for All You Fine Writers Out There

Christmas and Holiday Greetings to everyone far and wide.

I know everyone is doing their own thing and hopefully making the most of this very strange and restrictive 2020 holiday season.

We all find ways to cope, but My Twisted Writer Brain is always searching for unique details and fodder to add into my writing.

So, are you ready?

Here’s your Assignment: I want you to notice FIVE new things and write them down. These should be through observation but using a different lens than you’re used to wearing.

Remember, this is for your eyes/brain only and isn’t something that needs to be discussed except in your own fine writer brain.

So, what kind of things am I talking about?

Source: Unsplash Josh Calabrese

I’m thinking of character traits you never noticed before about those around you, or something in nature that sparked some sort of creative surge in your thinking or perhaps it’s a smell, a sound, a touch… Think about the five senses.

Here are some examples.

  • When you walk into a room and the turkey is in the oven, what happens? What do you see? Do you stop and take a deep breath? Is there a mess everywhere? What do you smell? Describe it?
  • You take the first bite of a favorite Christmas dessert. Note the texture, the taste, the feel of it in your hand or is it on a spoon? Watch other people as they eat it? Any tell tale signs of delight? How do they hold the spoon? Do they talk with food in their mouth? Tell me about it.
  • Watch someone and note how they talk. Does spittle fly from them? do they gesture with their hands? maybe they jiggle a knee? or purse their mouth? Where do they look? note the posture. What does the voice remind you of? Can you describe the sound? Really watch and listen–respectfully though.
  • Sit on different surfaces and note how they feel or smell. Is the couch scratchy? do your feet reach the floor? Is the dining room chair so hard your butt bones rub? Maybe you’re on the floor surrounded by dog hair or dust bunnies. Take notes.
  • Go outside and close your eyes and listen. What do you hear? Does the air smell? Are there birds? rustling in the trees? sirens in the distance? cars going by? What? Now go to a different room–maybe the kitchen–do the same exercise, what do you hear now? The fridge? maybe the TV in another room? Does the garbage smell? or the cat’s litter box? What?

The idea here is to get you thinking about looking through a different lens and using those tiny details in your writing. It really can enhance your creativity.

Now, go get it done. And, do try to have some fun with it.

5 thoughts on “An Assignment for All You Fine Writers Out There”

  1. Aw yis. I used to love doing this in a Starbucks and just writing down things I wouldn’t normally notice otherwise. Great fun, and improves the craft too. Thanks for this, Faye!

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