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Posts Tagged ‘creative writing’

Journaling Prompt #4 – Observing The Environment

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

This is the second prompt dealing with observations. Last week’s prompt dealt with observing people and this week’s prompt is all about observing the environment.

The environment is the setting of our stories. Whether we write fiction or non-fiction, whether we tell our own story or other people’s stories – the environment plays an important role in adding depth to the story. Adding details about the environment anchors the story and gives it a strong base.

The environment is built out of many different parts: physical surroundings, atmosphere, weather etc. The environment portrays the view coming out of your window, as well as whether you live in a big city or in a small town, whether it is winter time or summer time, whether you are in a relaxed environment or in a busy one, the time of day the story takes part in and how the environment looks different at this time. All of these details and more are part of the description of an environment.

This description can also include special traditions, culture, typical smells, colors, textures and any other little detail that makes the place unique.

This week’s prompt is to describe an environment – either your everyday surrounding or a place which is special or remarkable to you. Try to capture as much details as possible and to include as many different aspects of the environment as possible.

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Journaling Prompt #3 – Observation

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

The first two prompts were all about you. Your family. Your secret wishes. Today the prompt is dealing with your ability to observe other people.

The ability to observe is extremely important for any writer. Developing an eye for the small details creates much more vivid and vibrant stories. This skill is also important for commemorating bits and pieces of your life and the life of your loved ones. Stories which will be greatly valued in the future.

Some people are born with good observation skills but they can be also easily acquired. All you have to do is to watch and listen. Keep an open eye for all the small details that are illusive at first glance. For instance, noticing if a stranger walking down the street is happy or sad, relaxed or mad, taking his time or in a hurry.

This week’s journaling prompt is getting you outside to a place where you are likely to meet with strangers. It can be the train station, the grocery store or the park. Go outside and open a watchful eye (be careful not to look like – or become – a stalker. There’s a difference between ‘observing’ and ‘following around’ and you should stick to the former).

Don’t forget to grab a pen and a journal and write down all your small observations. When you feel that you have picked up enough information, write a short imaginary story about one ore more of the figures you have ran into. In this story don’t forget to use your observations and blend it with the plot you have made up.

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