Sometimes I like to try writing exercises just for fun. I feel like they can be very helpful, because they force to to write in a way that you normally wouldn’t.
I’ve shared a lot of different writing tips on Daily Mayo (the closet description is one of my favorites), but I don’t think I’ve ever shared this one before.
For this exercise, close your eyes and imagine you are blind. You’ve never been able to see anything. What you have to go on for you experience of the world are simply sounds, smells, and textures. There is no color in your world at all.
Now, try to write something with that view in mind. How would your descriptions change? Without any mention of colors or appearances is is possible to write descriptively?
This may sound difficult, but I know its possible. I have a good friend who is blind, and his writing is more descriptive than many other writers I have read.
Here is one I tried to write just now:
“The loud, incessant beeping of a construction crew from across the field is distracting me from concentrating on my work. Nearby, I hear the chirping of birds who seem surprisingly happy on this cool, spring day. The steady hum of falling water from the fountain nearby almost puts me to sleep. The air smells damp and musty from a recent rainfall. Soon, I hope the air will dry and the day will warm; I love the feeling of the sun’s heat on my skin.”
This is probably not the best thing you have ever read, but that’s not really the point. The point is to try to write something that is outside your writing comfort zone, so to speak. That passage took me longer to write than most of my other writing, because I really had to focus on describing the things around me with smells, sounds, and feelings.
If you do this exercise, share your passages below!