Writing Exercise: What’s around you?

Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash

White box is an ongoing problem. Writing people and dialog, the heart of the story, flows from the pen easily. Most people hear the people in their head talking and just need to transcribe what they are saying onto paper. But the surroundings of the scene, that takes visualization skills and not every author has that innate ability.

WRITING EXERCISE: This writing exercise is pen and paper, or at least phone notes. Carry a notebook to write on with you. Sometime during the day when you got to wait, break it out and start writing What’s Around You. Describe your seat, the color of the sky, the noise levels, what you smell. Anything, everything that takes your fancy. If people are talking around you, don’t write what they are saying but what they are doing.

Do this three times – just random locations. Then, next time the WIP confounds you with a white box, pull out your notebook.

READING EXERCISE: For your current read, find a passage with a great scene description. What captured your imagination? Any particular words really grabbed you? Is there anything you are imagining beyond what is on paper? Why are you adding those details, which aren’t in the book, to the scene? What was better to leave to the reader’s imagination and what needed to set the scene for the reader?