Lesson #92: Exercises for Description

In Lesson #88, Darcie talked about describing a scene.

Find an image of a well-known painting, person, place, or character. Write out a description of the image without identifying who or what it is. Only give yourself about ten minutes to write out the description. When you are done, find an unsuspecting victim, give them a pencil and blank paper, then ask them to draw what they see in their mind based on the description you wrote. How close did they come? Why? Have a conversation with them when they finish and the real subject is revealed about how well the description was written.

In Lesson #89, Kayla talked about describing action scenes and sequences.

I want you to write a paragraph in 60 seconds. Just write. Don’t think about it beforehand. You may pick a name and one major “event” to happen during the paragraph, but that is all. Just write! Then, I want you to go over this paragraph and edit it. How will you describe the action? How will you edit the description you already have?

In Lesson #90, we talked about describing emotion.

I want you to take these five phrases and rewrite them so that they are not telling, but showing. You may allot a specific character to each one (it would be fun to pick a different character from several different books by other people – so, for example, the Monster from Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” Frodo from Tolkien’s “The Fellowship of the Ring,” Sherlock from Doyle’s “A Study in Scarlet,” Hermoine from Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” etc.)

  1. “In fear…”
  2. “In anger…”
  3. “…with anxiety”
  4. “With joy…”
  5. “… in disgust.”

In Lesson #91, Kayla talked about describing characters.

Analyze how a character is described in one of your favorite short stories/books. How is Cinderella described by the brothers Grimm? How is Cole described in No Safe Haven? How is Katniss described in The Hunger Games? How is Dr. Jekyll described in “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?” Make a list of all of the traits you see. How do these correlate with the actions and opinions expressed by the character – through action, dialogue, etc.? What can you learn from these characters? What do you learn about description in studying how they are described?

With Pen to Paper,

Kim, Kayla, Becca, and Darcie

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