Tuesday, March 16, 2010

starting with sentences

I have a tiny bit of homework for my poetry workshop each week (beyond simply writing poems in general), which focuses on a different aspect of the writing process.

This week's homework is about creating images, or to repeat the old adage, show don't tell.

We're to turn statements that tell you how someone is feeling, into descriptions that convey the emotion.

The exercise gets you to imagine a scene and create it from within. It's good fun and a great way to learn how to write.

Eg, here's one of my responses.

1. That summer on holiday he missed his mother.

So far from home at supper time, all he could think of were her hands, gripping a wooden spoon and stirring the afternoon light around a bright red bowl.

What's struck me is how helpful and useful these tasks are. This kind of simple exercise should be done in schools. Why is it kids are forced to analyse other people's writing, and told to write essays and stories, without breaking writing down to the level of the simple sentence?

This kind of short exercise really helps you understand the power of words, and reveals how writing is really just about writing beautiful sentences, and stringing them together.

*yes i'm doing my uni work, at work... slow nights can be good for something!

1 comment:

Thora said...

that kind of short exercise does sound fun! if only al study was like that :)