Writing exercises


I don’t do these as much as I should, but my sister gave me a writing workshop book for Christmas, so I’m going to try some of them. It’s a book that gives lots of writing advice, and, as I said, writing exercises. So, here we go.

There’s a page dedicated just to describing things. To be honest, I often forget to do detailed descriptions of things, as I’m a more action-oriented writer. I used to be quite good at descriptions, but I’ve neglected practicing for a bit.

So, here goes the exercises.

Describe a circle:

A curved thing, a dark line that goes all the way around until it meets again. It is even, and if one were to draw a line through the center, the halves would match, no matter where you draw it. It’s clock faces, and the rims of glasses, and the ponderous brushstroke of an avante-garde artist. It’s a never ending time wheel, starting over and over. It’s a divine comedy, rising and falling, like a giant breathing.

It’s the sun waiting to go supernova, suspended in space.

Describe a spiral staircase:

The stairs were made of bright polished wood, and it wound its way up and around, ascending into the house’s interior. They were dimly lit with old lighting fixtures, unchanged for decades. The stair was enclosed by walls, like a castle turret, and it went up and up, past numerous bedroom doors, all open to air them out.

I slipped on them in my stocking feet and arrived at the bottom on the seat of my pants.

Describe the colour red:

It’s the colour that you keep bottled up inside you, until it explodes and drenches everything around you in it. It’s a nosebleed, hot liquid unexpectedly dripping down your face. It’s the type of colour ready to leap into action, violent emotion, passionate and unchecked. It’s your heart throbbing painfully with some thought or feeling of anguish.

It’s your mind spinning, round and round, until it’s all that you can see.

I’m only going to do three of them for now. I think I could have don better, but like many things in life, it’s all about getting back into the swing of things. If I keep up the exercises, eventually I’ll get back to where I want to be with describing things. This is also my mentality about going to the gym, but hopefully I won’t skip writing exercises as often as I skip actual exercises.

Feel free to leave your own descriptions of a circle, a spiral staircase, or the colour red in the comments.

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