Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A Writing Exercise With Description

There are several things in this world that I have trouble with: tax forms, club dancing and those little packets of soy sauce that I can never seem to get open without squirting them all over myself. But perhaps none rival the amount of frustration that I often have with description. The entire scene is right in my head, right? So it should be easy to put on paper. Someday, I'm going to invent a steampunk contraption that allows me to extract the setting from my head, and put it down into the pages, so I can then move on with the story.

Until I get around to inventing that, (and it will be sweet when I'm done with it, copper, steam-powered with lots of gears that make sizzling sounds and stuff,) I would like to suggest a writing exercise I did with my Young Writer's Group at the library, if you too suffer from a lack of flowery adjectives.

First you need a Word Cloud Creator. Some good ones are:


Word It Out

ABCya! Word Clouds for Kids!  (Note: You can still play with kid things if you are an adult.)

Then choose a character, or setting, or even a scene. Write the character/setting name in first, then brainstorm descriptive words, and don't be stingy with the verbs. I've found this is a fun way to feel my way around a topic or characters I'm having trouble with. If you're a visual person as well, you may want to try it. The young writers in my group had fun with choosing colors and fonts that related to their characters, i.e. cheery yellow to denote an energetic character, or darker colors for more reserved ones. If you try it out, I'd be interested to see what you come up with. Let me know in the comments how it goes.


  1. Sounds like a great exercise for students -- young and old. xx

  2. My kids really enjoyed printing them out to hang up too.