In July 2020 during the Covid-19 lockdown I ran an online creative writing workshop. This invited attendees to engage with what they had at home and what they could find on the museum’s web site. In these posts I shall go over the exercises and showcase the attendees’ writing.
Working with the Senses
This always produces good writing, especially if you try and get into words what you’re really seeing, hearing, feeling (in both senses of the word), smelling and tasting. You will probably find that you have most to say about what you see and hear.
Choose from one of the following scenes:
1. What you can sense when you look out of your window
2. What you are experiencing right now
3. A time and / or place where you were very happy
Now write for ten minutes about this scene.
You are trying to include:
What you see
What you hear
What you smell
What you taste
What you feel (in both senses of the word)
Try to avoid writing a list.
You will probably produce a piece of excellent writing but something that doesn’t have a lot of structure. You can make this into a bit more of a story later by making something happen that changes the writer a little.
Follow up work
You might like to collect a few of these. You could even use them as a type of journal. Could you write one a day? A week? A month?
These sorts of scenes can turn very well into poetry that can give a very strong sense of time and place.
It is six o'clock in the morning and it is raining outside. The wind lashes the rain against the window and it is cold although it is July and I'm so tired. I can't be bothered to switch on the heating. I shiver and think about the rain dripping off the roof, running down the drainpipes and shiver again. My mouth feels dry and I feel so tired now and I wish I could just drift off to sleep. My feet are so cold. I will have to move soon and then I hear the click of the timer on the central heating and I smile.