Prepared by: Florence Cardinal
Posted on: September 1, 2002
Do you have trouble writing description,
painting a word picture so
others can see what you are trying to describe? Hopefully, this week's
exercise will make it a little simpler.
This is in two parts. First, in 300 words
or less, describe
something you can see, or have seen often, something you know well. It
can be the view from your window, the room where you're sitting, your
house, your street, or the lake where you spend your holidays. Describe
it exactly as it is.
Now, again in 300 words or less, take that
same scene and embellish
it. Is there a garden in your back yard? Fill it with exotic flowers,
add a gazebo or a rose arbor. If you're describing the room you're in,
hang different artwork on the walls. Add a Persian carpet or one of
thick, white pile. Furnish it any way you want. To clarify, this is two
views of exactly the same place or object, one exactly as it is, and
one using that marvelous imagination of yours.
This can also be done the opposite way. If
you described your house
- a brick two story, or a small white cottage, turn it into a
ramshackle shack. Peel off paint, fill the yard with weeds. Add broken
shutters and missing boards. You probably live on an average street.
Turn it into a slum, make it dirty and dangerous. Or add turrets and a
dungeon and a fire breathing dragon. It's all up to you. If you change
one small thing at a time, you will soon have something altogether
different than the original description.
This is an exercise to stretch your
imagination, to help you see
that you don't have to invent completely alien or imagined settings for
your story. Instead, take what you have on hand, what you can see and
know well, and add the elements you need for your story. If the fairy
godmother in Cinderella could change a pumpkin into a golden chariot,
then you can change your old Dodge truck into a rocket ship.
Florence Cardinal's wrap-up
Posted on: September 8, 2002
Again, another productive week with the
majority of submissions
showing an understanding of what the exercise required. You showed us
your bedrooms, work space, offices, spare rooms, garages, and more.
Not only did you do the exercise as
required but you gave the rest
of us a tiny glimpse into a small part of your lives. And, hopefully,
you've come to realize how easy it is to create a scene from almost
nothing, to close your eyes, let your imaginations loose and change the
world around you to something entirely different.
I hope this will make creating scenes for
your stories easier for
you. All it takes is a bit of practice and a bit of imagination.
Web site created by
Rhéal Nadeau and
the administrators of the Internet Writing Workshop.
Modified by Gayle Surrette.