October 22, 2014

Wednesday Writing Challenge: Where Are You?

Welcome to the Wednesday Writing Challenge!

Every Wednesday, I pose a new writing challenge here on the blog. These challenges come from books on writing, classes I've taken on creative writing, or sometimes just from my own imagination. If you're an author, hopefully they will help you get your writing juices flowing and help you improve your craft.


Some of these challenges may be very good ones or may include an element I consider highly important for writers to learn...so occasionally I may cycle through some of my favorites more than once. 


??  Want to Participate  ??

The Wednesday Challenges are open to all readers. In order to participate, simply comment on the challenge post with your response to the exercise. Not only is it good practice, but you could win something nifty and fun!


October Prize: A signed print copy of

Goblin Fires or Lotus Petals 

(Winner's Choice)


 And now...

***Here's Today's Challenge!***

Look around you right now. Take in the sight, sound, smells, and sensations of your setting. What makes this setting unique? What makes it memorable? What makes it "pop"?

Describe your setting in 5-7 sentences. Give it authenticity with personal details (determine what about it affects you, and make it affect us).  Use both physical/literal description and sensory/emotional description to bring us to this place.

Post your results in the comments.




***Hints and Tips:***


Remember less is more. Hone in on the key elements or details and avoid rambling or listing. If you find 5-7 sentences is not enough to describe everything--it shouldn't be, really--consider what elements are most important for making this place what it is.

Even though authenticity is important to conveying this setting,  avoid the temptation to simply tell you readers "what it means to you".  Once you know what it means to you and have identified what causes that response, find a way to get your readers to identify with that element or detail too. Easy way to do this? Don't use "I" statements. 

Some good details to consider--though not required--are weather, time of year, time of day, or even history of your setting.

Don't forget to vary your descriptions AND your sentence style. Don't begin your sentences over and over in the same way; don't use the same sentence structure ("compound, compound, compound"). 


  1. Despite the heavy gray curtains, the afternoon sun shines in my eyes and overheats my face, interfering with my ability to concentrate on the computer screen. Glancing left and right , blinking the spots out of my eyes, shelves of books and towers of CDs and DVDs beg me to waste time with them. Studiously ignoring them, I curl my toes against the smooth wooden floors and bang out another 100 words.

  2. The brisk November wind carried the smell of the neighbor's wood fire through the air, mixing with the scents of freshly turned dirt from the empty summer garden. The house stood waiting for me. I could almost hear the ghosts of generations gone whispering encouragement (or shrieking hatred) through the white walls. The door creaked as I opened it and stepped onto the hard wood floors built so long ago. I am home.


What do you think?