Writing exercise

Written by: Shewonda Leger

Primary Source: Writing Rhetoric and American Cultures

Terribleminds shares a writing exercise that can improve your writing, which is to take one thing and describe it ten different ways. Try it out. Pick a thing.

Here are the rules:

  • Focus on it and describe it multiple ways. Ten, as noted.
  • Each no more than a sentence of description.
  • (Feel free to choose a real world thing. Say, a lamp in your corner, or the flu you had last week.)
  • Differ your approaches in how you describe this thing.
  • Try pinballing from abstraction to factual — from metaphorical to forthright.

Here’s what I came up with:

After sitting in the car for ten hours, I was tired of traveling. My butt was worn-out from French kissing the seat. My neck was stiff like a pole. Like a baby with a wet diaper I was. Like an old and dusty bookshelf I felt. Frustrated and ready to stretch my legs. Connected like a group of organic compounds, waiting for H2O to break the bond.

Now you try!

The goal here is just to flex our descriptive muscles a bit.

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Shewonda Leger is a writer who has love for creativity, whether its fiction or non-fiction. She is a graduate student at Michigan State University, pursuing her master’s degree in Digital Rhetoric and Professional Writing. When she is not at home in her pajamas working on her novel, she is writing for WRAC or consulting at The Writing Center @ MSU. Follow her on Twitter @Mz_Poesy.

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