Fear in Writing: Write what you don't see

Today in Literary History

Today in Literary History...December 14, 1907: Rudyard Kipling receives the Nobel prize for literature, the first English-language writer to do so.ud

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Write what you don't see

I thought of a writing exercise today.  I was sitting in my car with the rain beating down, crashing against the metal and sliding down the windshield, and I thought, I could write this scene.  Then I thought, But how hard is that?  Any half-decent writer can describe what they see.  The challenge is to create something unseen.

So, for a writing exercise (if you're looking for one), I propose you sit somewhere with a notepad (a computer can be rather distracting), take in your surroundings, and then write the opposite.  Maybe not the direct opposite, but try to imagine everything different.

You could change the seasons, you could change the weather, you could change your house from a 1-bedroom walkup to a 3-storey townhouse on the river in Boston...Or you could make it fantastic!  Why couldn't the leaves be pink or the rain be alien gore?

Anyway, it's just an exercise I thought of and wanted to share.  As you know, setting is very important to me as a writer and reader.

Also...I apologize for not being around the blog world or posting much this week.  My in-laws dropped in for a surprise visit and with Halloween weekend and other things, it has been super crazy.  Thanks for your patience.


  1. Nothing like a change of perspective to stimulate the senses and imagination. Wonderful idea.

  2. That's all right! NaNo has kept me from blogging at my usual pace. And at the moment, everything I am writing is based on the unseen.

  3. Life is like that it gets in the way.
    Great idea for a prompt.

  4. Michele - What a great idea for a writing prompt! Thank you :-). And please, don't apologize for your busy life. Life keeps all of us going at what is sometimes a very fast pace.

  5. Sounds like a great idea...like backwards day.

  6. That's a great writing idea to get in the mood. I need to take a notebook with me more often.


  7. In-laws dropping in for a surprise visit? O.o
    I liked the thought of alien gore raining down... ;)