On Sunday I attended a writing workshop entitled Texture and Emotion in Your Writing.
It was an informative and fun afternoon and we all learned a lot about word usage and creating more evocative sentences.
I would like to share my responses to a couple of exercises and then you can have a go too.
Food: 10 minute exercise. Describe the meal. Taste/Smell/Colour/Feel
Angus and Bella have gone to an upscale restaurant for a special celebration. The menu consists of shrimp on skewers with a dipping sauce, a salad of baby spinach and fruit with a lemon dressing, steak, roasted potatoes and a green vegetable.
The sizzling of hot fat spitting from the skillet of skewered shrimp heralded the arrival of their meal. There was a salty aroma as the shrimp cooked. A see-through sauce placed in the middle of the table, added a spicy smell – it’s flakes of chili visible as the liquid clung to each dipped shrimp. Vibrant spinach leave tossed with fruit glistened in white bowls and a citrus aroma from the dressing added to their watering mouths.
Thick steaks sat on oval plates, juices flowing with a meaty char-grilled lines. Roasted potatoes broke open from browned skin into fluffy white interiors. Sliced zucchini ribboned along the side with steaming broccoli and petit pois.
Odours/Smell: 5 minute exercise. Write a better, more evocative, sentence to replace the following.
Bob came in smelling of the barn.
Dusty and hot, Bob walked into the kitchen smelling earthy and of dried grass.
Verbs and Adjectives: 10 minute exercise. Make a more textured sentence so we know something more of his mood or purpose.
Ambrose stood in the dark doorway.
With his hat lowered on his head to hide his face, Ambrose stood in the shadows of the doorway, watching intently for the bedroom light to switch off. The tip of his cigarette glowed as he inhaled, the only evidence of his presence. The gun weighed heavily in his jacket pocket. When the light went out his heart pulsed harder and adrenaline flowed through his body.
Let’s see who can come up with other evocative sentences. Please share them in the comments.
Get that writing Muse working!
This quote explains it much better: “Good writing is supposed to evoke sensations in the reader – not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.”
Happy Canada Day to my Canadian friends
Happy 4th July to my American friends
A day of celebration, family time and relaxation (hopefully).
I took the opportunity of a three day weekend to do some chores (I know but I did relax as well). My list included a closet clear out & donation to thrift store, clear away all my filing (larger job than expected) and a bottle depot trip and recycling center trip with a stack of cardboard. It is always satisfying to complete chores that seem to pile up unnoticed for some time.
My friend, Linda and I watched the local Canada Day parade from the comfort of our deck and cheered loudly for friends floats and more. And later watched the fireworks. I also visited a friend recovering from a hip operation and my daughter for a short time. And finished one book and am now on the sequel.
All in all a great weekend.
What did you get up to?
A biography, commonly known as a bio, is defined as a detailed description of a person’s life. Rather than dealing with the basic facts of the subject’s life like education, work, relationships, and death; it portrays a person’s experience with life events, presenting a subject’s life story, with highlights of various aspects of his or her life, including intimate details of experience, and may even include an analysis of the subject’s personality.
Biography’s are usually non-fiction in nature but fiction can sometimes be used to portray the subject’s life. One form of biographical coverage is called legacy writing that deals with in-depth research.
At first, biographical writings were merely a subsection of history focusing on a particular individual of historical importance. The independent genre of biography began emerging in the 18th century reaching its contemporary form at the turn of the 20th century. Biographical research as defined by Miller is a research method of collecting and analyzing a person’s whole life, or on occasion a portion of their life. This is accomplished through the in-depth and unstructured interviews, or even by semi-structured interview or personal documents. In short the research can come from “oral history, personal narrative, biography and autobiography” or “diaries, letters, memoranda and other materials.
There are two types of biography:
- Authorized biography which is written with the permission, cooperation, and at times, participation of a subject or a subject’s heirs.
- An autobiography which is written by the person himself or herself, sometimes with the assistance of a collaborator or ghostwriter.
The idea of writing our own biography is a daunting one for most of us and knowing where and how to start can be the main stumbling block for many. What to put in and what to leave out!
With other members of my writing group, I helped produce a memoir writing guide, which gives pointers on how to collect and compile artifacts, photos, letters etc. into a themed collection enabling you to format and theme your memoir/biography.
The practical suggestions included in the pages of this book will suggest to you ways you can identify, record, and organize your collection of memories so you can begin to write your stories. It is not a how to write but a how to begin workbook.
Have you thought of writing your biography?
What would the title be?
The prompt is – two men in a boat.
Here’s my short story.
Bob & Joe’s Fishing Trip
A weekend of fishing ahead of them, Bob and Joe load their canoe with tackle, bait, tents and food coolers. They gently glide along the river with practiced strokes of their oars. After years of fishing trips together, their routine is down pat. They have several favorite spots for fishing and their campsite is a closely guarded secret between the two companions. The early morning mist breaks apart as the canoe bow slices through it. Their destination gradually appears in front of them, the island in the middle of the lake, covered by dense brush around its perimeter and to the untrained eye seemingly impenetrable. However, due to a chance discovery some fourteen years earlier it has become a perfect spot for the two friends to enjoy a weekend of fishing undisturbed. Joe discovered the secret clearing when his fishing line suddenly snapped and he fell backwards into the river. While Bob tried to compose himself from laughing and row toward his friend, Joe had noticed a gap between two bushes. He crawled through to find a small clearing. It was the perfect sanctuary from their wives, who could never again surprise them with a visit.
With the camp set up, the coolers stored and a few cans of beer in the bottom of the canoe, the two men head out for the first fishing spot. As always, they ensured there were no tracks to the hideout before leaving. It isn’t long before Joe has a bite and he starts reeling in but a clonking sound on the hull signals his catch is obviously not a fish. Catching the line Bob hauls a slender glass bottle from the water. The light glistens on its blue green surface. Inside they see a roll of paper. With wordless mutual ascent Bob smashes the bottle on the gunwale and releases a brown paper roll. As he gradually unrolls the paper, a sudden gasp of wonder comes from both men. It is a treasure map, illustrating with a large X, their very own campsite.
Paddling swiftly back toward the island in excited anticipation they abandon the canoe on the bank behind a bush and race toward the marked spot. Grabbing the latrine shovel Joe digs furiously, throwing earth every which way. At the sound of a hollow thud, the friends look at each other. Falling onto their knees, they push the soil away before pulling a small wooden chest from the earth by its brass handles. A rusty lock is easily broken with the shovel and as the lid opens gold coins tumble out. Bob and Joe shout out in unison “We’re rich!”
The enormity of their find struck them later as they counted the coins. How could they spend gold coins without people getting suspicious? They talked throughout the night and hatched a plan. Bury the chest again and find a discrete dealer. Sea fishing trips in exotic locations were now in the future of the two happy fishermen.
Why not share your story in the comments?