Online Writing Workshop for Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror

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By workshop member Laura Kent

I found this exercise to be extremely useful. Go to a place you can sit with your eyes closed (or have a partner to warn you of danger so you can keep your eyes closed). Sit in that spot for five or more minutes (I suggest at least ten--at most fifteen at one time) and feel, listen, smell, the things around you--concentrate on all your other senses with your eyes closed. At the end of the time period, grab a notebook you had handy and write down what you heard, felt, smelled, etc.--this is more profitable when done with the writer's "eye" for description in mind. I did this on the beach and came up with so many new ways to describe the setting of a beach that I may not have thought of otherwise. When I read what I wrote of that experience, it has the power to send me back to that ocean beach every time with the details it inspired--and there is no sight in the description anywhere (I can't wait to incorporate some of the details in a beach scene of a future novel)!