Writing Exercise That Increases Awareness And Description Skills
by Catherine Franz
Practice attaching words to feelings requires time to do. Without a system
that helps you monitor that time, the minutes or hours could feel
unproductive. With the right exercise, you can then use that time
wisely, as well as save you time and frustration.
to apply the right words to our six senses is a top ingredient to the
mixture of writing. Its language brings the reader into the story.
All of us easily know how we feel, or what we're seeing (okay, most of the
time), what we're hearing, smelling, tasting, and sensing, and can usually
explain it in 50 words if pushed to do it. But, how do you describe
it in one or two words without the pushing?
by beginning with good material, the remaining part of the writing process
becomes easier. This exercise will help you improve your beginning.
is a simple exercise that you can do anywhere, anytime, in a space of
minutes or longer. You can practice Monday mornings in the garden,
the doctor’s waiting room, or in the lunchroom. It can last as
long as a television commercial (oops those aren't short any longer), or
you more aggressively with a devoted 30-minutes a day. Whatever
length of time or place you have, it will always improve your skill.
will want to sit while completing this exercise.
let's start with the most difficult spot, your supplies -- paper and your
writing instruments. Landscape, portrait, small, or regular size
sheet of paper doesn't matter. I define what paper size to use by
the amount of time available and my location. If I'm mobile, I use
my small journal. If I'm at my desk or at home, I use a regular size
paper. Sometimes lines, sometimes not. Sometimes the exercise flows
over to two or three sheets. Don't limit the experience by paper size.
Have fun with the recording tools as well. Experimentation is the
key to our curiosity. And, curiosity is the foundation of a writer.
a circle on the page and place your name in the center. Large, small, in
color, black, or blue, again it doesn't matter. Use whatever flips
your pancakes at that moment. In other words, whatever feels good at the
objective is to describe your five senses, six if you have that gift, with
words. Write the words that express that sense in the space inside
the circle randomly around your name.
is how you would use this exercise to increase environment awareness and
description. Write your words in the location on the paper relevant
to the direction it appears. For example: I'm sitting outside
my office on a 9th floor balcony at the moment, I hear a heavy humming
from the tires on the wet pavement below and birds chirping above me to
the right. I would place the words for the tires on the bottom left
and the chirping on the upper right on my page.
are nine prompts to help you expand your experience.
Write words describing your atmosphere--the quality of air.
What are the clouds doing? Can you see animals in their shapes?
The temperature of your location.
The source of light and its quality.
Where are people standing or sitting?
Shadows, are they're any? Where and how do they fall?
Predominant colors, wall colors, wallpaper, molding, chair railing,
What do you smell? Using comparisons are a great way to relate to
your reader. The air feels like just getting out of the fogged
Are there other people around you? How do they smell, their clothes,
their shoes? Guess at what they might do for a living. Are
they dressed like someone on their way to work, doesn't work, a mom, dad,
baker, or what?
you are comfortable describing your environment, spice the exercise up
another notch. Compare your descriptive words to something else.
For example: The room you are sitting in feels like a sauna with my
spicing up the exercise to increase your awareness and descriptive
powers--use people and objects. Since you are most familiar with
yourself, begin there.
practicing on the most familiar subject, yourself, create a list of other
familiar people in your life. Then sort the list from most familiar
to least. Continue down the list. Somewhere during these lists
and practice sessions, you will begin to feel comfortable with your skill.
can continue taking the exercise to another level. This time you are
ready to expand your awareness and adaptation to words. Visit the
local mall; sit in the food court for smorgasbord of new enriching
are 11 prompts to help you expand your levels:
Describe what you are wearing.
* How does your body feel?
* What are your hands doing?
* How does your throat feel?
* How are you holding your mouth?
* Eye movement
* How do you feel in general, in detail?
* Name your mood. Does it have a flavor and color?
* Describe your feelings with reference to music. A certain song or
type of music.
* How does your hair smell, clothes, the chair you're sitting on, the book
Be patient with yourself while practicing. This exercise isn't the
easiest to complete, however, it is the most effective. Even if you
aren't a writer, this exercise will help you triple your awareness skills
in a short time period1. This exercise also helps police officers,
speakers, judges, attorneys, or anyone else that uses their awareness
skills to see and put it into words. This is also a NLP--neurolinguistics
programming skill--for those aware of this process.
Franz provides writing and marketing assistance to individuals who
want to write and businesses that want to increase business. For
more ideas and programs, visit The Abundance Center at: http://www.abundancecenter.com.