Saturday, 13 February 2010

Saturday Exercise

Start by going for a walk (the exercise is good for writers bottom as well as writers imagination). On your walk collect natural objects - right now it might be teasel heads and dried seed pods, snowdrops and old man's beard, glossy ivy leaves and a pheasant tail feather. As you walk and collect, think about how these items feel in your hands - light or heavy, rough or smooth, fragile or sturdy. Think about how they smell and the sounds they make as you handle them...

Back home, write either a list of adjectives describing these found objects, or put it into a piece of descriptive prose. Now, using your list or the description, imagine a character and describe them in the same language as the natural object. For example, if you had found a conker, you could compare the prickly outer shell to a prickly personality perhaps concealing glossy depths or you could imagine a child, whose potential is only just beginning to peep out from a shell of parental protection. Or, 'she had spiky hair, but the brownest eyes you ever saw...'.

Then having invented a couple of characters, put them in a scene and see how they play off each other, trying to keep some of the descriptive language you started with.

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