August 14, 2009

NEW FEATURE: Scribbles of a Wannabe Writer

Scribbles of a Wannabe Writer

I have been talking about starting a feature about my creative writing life (or lack thereof) and I have finally started it. Ta-da!

Belle has been a big part of helping me get this started. She is a very prolific writer, especially compared to me. I read her writing posts and feel inspired. She has also e-mailed with me and talked with me on Twitter about writing. She rocks like that.

For my first post I wanted to include the results of a writing exercise I worked on this week. I worked on improving my descriptions through observation. I decided to observe a variety of both people and objects. I want to share one of these observations with you and get your opinion:

She sighs as she slumps down into the comfy tan leather sofa. Her broad shoulders roll forward as she settles. She closes her eyes and tilts her head back. Her long brown hair is wrapped up into a bun at the nape of her neck. She is wearing dark blue jeans and a purple button-down blouse with a collar. She pulls the bottom of her blouse out of her jeans and slumps back down upon the back cushion. Three gold bracelets jingle against her coffee-brown wrist as it falls back against the sofa. She kicks off her brown sandles which have a gold bejeweled v-strap and toe strap. She curls her toes up under her feet and massages them on the plush red Persian rug. A sideways ruby-red smile creeps up her left cheek and she sighs again.

What do you think? I have little experience with writing and I am just a beginner. Any comments you can give me (good or not so good) will help me improve. Thanks!

Graphic provided by Cool Text Graphics Generator.

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  1. Hey Rebecca, I really hope you decide to participate in the Ink Notes writing activity, too. :)

    About description, the best advice I've received is to only rarely use more than one adjective per noun, never more than 2 per noun, and never more than a couple per sentence. They always recommend stripping out as many adjectives and adverbs as possible. In describing something, if you throw in too many details, readers get lost and can no longer figure out what is the important thing in the image. For instance, if you describe someone's hair as long, thick, silky, shiny, straight brown hair, what does the reader concentate on? Which is the most important attribute of that hair? Instead, they mostly end up skipping over the description.

  2. I think it's beautiful! I like the details about the character's body, like her coffee brown skin and the feeling of curling her toes. They make her seem real and help me get into her skin a bit. :-)

    I agree with Amanda's comment about being sparing with adjectives. I always tell my writing students that a few well chosen descriptive words or details paint a picture in the readers mind without tangling him up in too many words that will slow down his story. :-)

    I am loving your blog!

  3. Amanda, Laughing Stars- Thanks! That is very helpful. I will work on cutting the adjectives. Great advice.

  4. I admire you for doing this. I suck at creative writing when I've tried and so I stopped ... it is hard to do and put out there. I think everyone feels so amateurish when they start. But you have to try in order to get better!!! I know that since I've started blogging, it has been easier and easier to write since I do it more regularly. I think you'll find the same thing too! Keep it up girl!

  5. I don't really have anything new to add, I just wanted to say that I did enjoy reading it. I could definitely picture the scene in my head. I think Amanda's advice about paring down the adjectives is good. I also like to mix up the length of sentences so that there's some variety--not that you should take writing advice from me or anything.


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