Posted in ✍️ Writing Tips & Resources

A Fun & Useful Writing Exercise

Have you ever just sat there and… looked?

I do this often.  I’ve gotten into the habit of ignoring my phone and just looking around.little notebook.PNG

I just observe.

I probably look odd just looking around– at the woman behind the counter and the splash of color of her makeup, at the line of holes around the glass window that are meant for light bulbs, at the abandoned cup of half-drunk Starbucks tucked on a display shelf…

Anyway, all that staring– that’s just me taking in my surroundings.  And I might write about them later.

Sometimes I jot everything down in this little notebook that I keep with me.  Other times, I just make mental notes.

The Exercise:

You can do this little exercise with anything, but I’ll give you the example I recently wrote.  This is me describing a variety of old men.

Weird?  I knooooow 😁

Some of these descriptions I might use in a book later, or I might not.  Either way, doing this exercise (describing something/someone/someplace) creatively really exercises that writing muscle.

No worries if you can’t read my handwriting.  I posted all the descriptions below.

descriptions in my notebook

A man in his fifties, with bulbous bags under his eyes and a permanent scowl dug deep into the corners of his mouth.

His forehead went on into a balding head, a fallen halo of wispy hair visible behind his banana-shaped ears.

The man’s head and face were an array of angular shapes– Chiclet-rectangle teeth, a triangle for a nose, jaw bones that jutted out like the corners of a square.

Eighty years of fighting gravity left him stooped– a rounding out of his body that began at his shoulders and curved all the way down to his brittle hips.

The top of his hand had sunken skin, with trails of veins the way a burrowing animal raises the dirt.  Brown spots peppered the surface– the human equivalent of rusting.

His nose was an angry-red mess of broken capillaries and blackhead craters.

Sooo… a lot of these are not flattering (or great), so if you do this in public, make sure you’re not hurting anyone’s feelings 😉

If you try this, I would love to see what you come up with!

Write on,

Yari Garcia

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Indie author and creator of

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