Forming Words Online Workshop – Sensory Descriptions

Hello,

For anyone who’d like to attend the Forming Words workshop today but can’t make it, here’s a summary of some of the exercises we’ll be doing so you can have a go at home. Today I’ve focused on sensory descriptions, so the emphasis is on the way you describe things, but do try to work in as much character and plot as you like as well.

Please feel free to share any work in the comments below, and we’ll assume you’re happy to receive comments/constructive criticism!

One – warm up

Go to the random word generator and click until you find a word you like, or that inspires something. Start writing with this word as your base, or try and work it into a sentence. Write for five(ish) minutes.

Two – sensory input

Inspiration: the scent of jasmine. Five – ten minutes.

Three – building a scene

Read this paragraph, then close your eyes and spend a couple of minutes picturing it before you start writing. When you’re ready, spend ten – fifteen minutes exploring this place.

Imagine yourself as a character. You’ve been sent to someone’s home – only you know why, and who sent you. What kind of home is it? It might not be a house. Walk in the door, if there is one. What can you see? Hear? Smell? What is it like underfoot? Why are you here? You call out – what do you say, and who answers?

Four – finding phrasing

Focus on the sensation of being wet. Write down as many words as you can that you associate with wetness.

Now, write for five – ten minutes without using any of those words. Try to stay away from the obvious word choices (wet, damp, soaked, water) and force yourself to find alternate phrasing.

Five – exhibition response

Here’s an image from the Forming Words exhibition. Take as long as you like to study the image, then spend five – ten minutes writing a piece inspired by it. If you get stuck, just write something completely different.

blossomThat’s it for today, let us know how you get on!

 

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Wednesday Write-in #54

wednesday logo

Welcome to the Wednesday Write-in!

Our weekly Write-in helps you stay productive, and get into the habit of creating regularly (even when you don’t feel like it!).

Prompts

academy  ::  pot of tea  ::  bunch  ::  snap  ::  vending machine

Guidelines

There are no hard and fast rules, but here are some brief guidelines:

  • You can use the prompts as inspiration or try to work them into your story somehow. Use as many as you want.
  • When your story is done, post it online (your blog/twitter/in a comment here), tag with #wednesdaywritein if you like, and comment with a link so we can read it.
  • Please take the time to read and comment on as many other stories as you have time for (but we won’t shout at you if you don’t).
  • If you want to write a poem, a script, or something completely different, feel free.

Get Involved

Look for us on Facebook or Twitter to keep up with the write-ins, or click the follow button to get blog updates!

Join our CAKE.writers group on Scribophile, a free online community for writers to give and receive constructive criticism.

Read our Previous Issues and check out the Submissions page if you’d like to be a CAKE.author!

Any questions? Otherwise, have fun writing!

CAKE @ MCDC workshops

Manchester_Craft_and_Design_Centre_021

Our first two workshops at the Manchester Craft & Design Centre have gone really well. It was lovely to see some new faces, and to have a different space to work in and respond to.

At our first group, we experimented with writing short poems inspired by our names. Each poem had to start with ‘In my name…’, with the writer then going on to describe what they found there.

20130802_125105

As an example, I used one that I wrote a few months ago at a writing workshop led by poet Mandy Coe:

SARAH
In my name is a country house
with peacocks on the lawn.
A river meets the fishing lake
where swans swim up and down.
The peacocks cry ‘Eeeyah-eeeyah!’,
the swans say not a word;
While from the house the people watch
the many kinds of birds.

If you have five minutes, I really recommend giving this exercise a try. It’s great fun and a good warm-up for your imagination. When I tried it again at the first MCDC workshop I came out with something totally different:

SARAH
In my name a sail flaps loose,

rigging hands, sullen from crosstrees.
Ankles dangling; capital punishment
in His Majesty’s Navy.

I have to say, execution isn’t something I normally find in myself, but some of my favourite books are Patrick O’Brian’s series set during the Napoleonic Wars. I’ve never channelled it before, but I suppose it felt like speaking to me on that day! If you do try it, please post your results in the comments.

Piece by &made.

Piece by &made.

We also spent some time in both workshops looking at the Forming Words exhibition, discussing the pieces, and responding to individual artworks. It’s been a really interesting experience to have so much stimulus so close at hand when running the writing exercises.

There are two free workshops left, on Friday 30th August and Friday 13th September. We’d love to see you there if you can make it. If enough people come along, we’d like to put together a book of the work created by the group in response to the exhibition.

Also, if you’re free tomorrow, head along to MCDC for their special Bank Holiday weekend event!

Wednesday Write-in #53

wednesday logo

Welcome to the Wednesday Write-in!

The Write-in has now been going for one whole incredible year. We’d just like to say a big BIG thank you to everyone who has taken part, written, read and shared alongside us for the last year. This has been a joy to run, and we’re looking forward to another productive year!

Prompts

tide  ::  short-sighted  ::  reflective  ::  apocalypse  ::  gloom

Guidelines

There are no hard and fast rules, but here are some brief guidelines:

  • You can use the prompts as inspiration or try to work them into your story somehow. Use as many as you want.
  • When your story is done, post it online (your blog/twitter/in a comment here), tag with #wednesdaywritein if you like, and comment with a link so we can read it.
  • Please take the time to read and comment on as many other stories as you have time for (but we won’t shout at you if you don’t).
  • If you want to write a poem, a script, or something completely different, feel free.

Get Involved

Look for us on Facebook or Twitter to keep up with the write-ins, or click the follow button to get blog updates!

Join our CAKE.writers group on Scribophile, a free online community for writers to give and receive constructive criticism.

Read our Previous Issues and check out the Submissions page if you’d like to be a CAKE.author!

Any questions? Otherwise, have fun writing!

Wednesday Write-in #52


Welcome to the Wednesday Write-in!

CAKE.shortandsweet runs a write-in every week to writers to practise their skills, and get chatting to each other about their work. Everyone is welcome to join in, and the more people you tell, the more everyone will get out of it.

Prompts

last man standing  ::  snack  ::  gold  ::  forgotten  ::  community

Guidelines

There are no hard and fast rules, but here are some brief guidelines:

  • You can use the prompts as inspiration or try to work them into your story somehow. Use as many as you want.
  • When your story is done, post it online (your blog/twitter/in a comment here), tag with #wednesdaywritein if you like, and comment with a link so we can read it.
  • Please take the time to read and comment on as many other stories as you can.
  • If you want to write a poem, a script, or something completely different, feel free.

Get Involved

Look for us on Facebook or Twitter to keep up with the write-ins, or click the follow button to get blog updates!

Join our CAKE.writers group on Scribophile, a free online community for writers to give and receive constructive criticism.

Read our Previous Issues and check out the Submissions page if you’d like to be a CAKE.author!

Any questions? Otherwise, have fun writing!

Wednesday Write-in #51


Welcome to the Wednesday Write-in!

CAKE.shortandsweet runs a write-in every week to writers to practise their skills, and get chatting to each other about their work. Everyone is welcome to join in, and the more people you tell, the more everyone will get out of it.

Prompts

elastic  ::   rule of thumb  ::  spire  ::  conference  ::  wheel

Guidelines

There are no hard and fast rules, but here are some brief guidelines:

  • You can use the prompts as inspiration or try to work them into your story somehow. Use as many as you want.
  • When your story is done, post it online (your blog/twitter/in a comment here), tag with #wednesdaywritein if you like, and comment with a link so we can read it.
  • Please take the time to read and comment on as many other stories as you can.
  • If you want to write a poem, a script, or something completely different, feel free.

Get Involved

Look for us on Facebook or Twitter to keep up with the write-ins, or click the follow button to get blog updates!

Join our CAKE.writers group on Scribophile, a free online community for writers to give and receive constructive criticism.

Read our Previous Issues and check out the Submissions page if you’d like to be a CAKE.author!

Any questions? Otherwise, have fun writing!