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.