"What" Writing - Sky

We are starting this course with object writing in its purest form, describing an object using only our seven senses. If you are unfamiliar with object writing, or wondering why I have said seven senses instead of five, first have a read about it here.

Otherwise, the object for today is “sky”. Write about it for ten minutes and no longer. Marks, set, go!

Example by Pat Pattison:

My back, wind shadow in the grasses that bow in rhythm, tickling my face as I watch to redtails wheeling the figure 8’s, riding, slicing the air - forewing feathers flattened against muscle and bone - peeling left toward a stand of sentinel pines brooding in shadow. Sun blanches my face, warm in speckles, rinsing clouds and lacing arrows of light against queen’s lace and rag-weed, ants scale weeks flattening in the wind…

The sky is filled with feathers, floating through in the gentle breeze, like sailing boats traversing silently the great ocean above, idly drifting past on their way to nowhere in particular. Swirls and streaks dance across, morphing into new forms and fizzling out of existence.


Hi there Harry :wave:

And firstly congratulations on being the first to post, a historic moment in the community!

Some delicious words there, and the feather metaphor reminds me of Joni Mitchell’s famous “feather canyons in the sky”.

Keep up the good work tomorrow!


Usually blue, but turned grey by the heavy water vapor, forming tall and imposing clouds that with growls and lightning announce: I’m coming down! Afternoon showers and high humidity, sticky bodies, sweat dripping, air filled with the smell of freshly watered dirt, reminding me of when I was a child, playing on water puddles, not minding the rain, the wet clothes, or getting a cold, usually left thoses worries to my mother, thinking back we both shared a affinity for that particular scent. Nowadays the rains feels warm to the touch, back then it was harsh and cold on the skin, but still, I miss the latter as it will always be what home feels like.

As I’m not familiar with object writing, I don’t know if I did it right, but I’ll never know if I never try.


Hey Mayara :wave:

You’ve absolutely got the right idea! The only rule with object writing is that you stay close to your senses. Anton Chekhov once said:

Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.

Your freshly watered dirt evoked a clear sensation for me of muddy puddles, and memories of jumping in them as a child. You could describe the water droplets that fly like sparks when you jump in, or the squelching noise your wellies make afterwards. I liked your use of smell.

Great work keep going tomorrow!

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Over my head, clouds swirling in multicolored rage. The light plays tricks this time of day, this time of year. Orange kisses the edges of roiling gray. You can’t tell if these clouds are full of water or malevolence or nothing. Maybe they’re not even clouds, but swaths of smoke from a distant wildfire, fighting the now hidden sun. Confused winds howl through this ghosted town, carrying the aroma of soot and ash and magnolia and lemons and oranges, here and there a whiff of freshly cut grass and car exhaust. The air is heavy, it’s August and the final oppressive heats of summer are well upon us. I’m digging for the car keys in the bottom of a shredded old leather purse and finally find them. I cover my mouth and run out the front door to get to the car - the anger in the air is increasing moment to moment and I am almost convinced I can feel the flames getting closer. They told us to evacuate hours ago, but the fire seemed so far then. It seems close enough to kiss the top of my head with its flames now. The single road out of this one horse town is running right through a wall of flames.


Very nice stuff Katie :clap:

Some great words on the palate there; kissing for example is a very sensory word that you have put to good use in describing the meeting of orange and grey, or the flames and the top of your head. Why are you covering your mouth? You could describe the taste of the invading smoke particles perhaps. Great mix of smells in there as well.

Keep it up tomorrow!

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Eyelashes of the sun blink over the horizon as golden light spills toward dawn. Crows unzip the sky with a caw, and it is begun. Layers of yellow, gold, orange and blue unroll in rapid succession, running and bumping in to one another. Clouds feather in, gentle as a paintbrush, to blur and muddle and soften the sky. Each day does not begin as if it were a switch. The sky is a backdrop of transformation, an orb of suspension, trapping wind and clouds and sun’s rays and wing’s of the bird as they cycle and circle and mingle together. Even in the stillest of blue, a whistle of wind can pierce through and leave a crack for a new day to spill out.


I like this, at the beginning I felt like it was rain that was coming but later it is revealed the “malevolence” is likely a wildfire, even then I am picturing towards the end with the “kiss on the top of my head” fire raining from the clouds in the sky that had initiated the scene. Very cool. The only constructive thought I had was the line “but swaths of smoke from a distant wildfire, fighting the now hidden sun” I feel instead of the smoke fighting the sun (BC it’s obviously losing) the sun is fighting the smoke of the wildfire, so maybe something like: the sun strangled by swaths of smoke, the sun grappling with swaths of smoke, the sun fading like a light from the bottom of a pond…
Just some thoughts I had. Nice job!


The glossy haze of refracted light stings my eyes and lungs. The brightness is foreboding and ominous. An ibis lights on the softened mildewed plank of the pier. The smell of putrid brown algae floats on the breeze so heavily the bitterness sticks to the tongue. My skin will likely sting and tingle after sampling the sun for so long. The palm fronds rustle as one drops with a deafeningly quiet “skritch”. Dappled light spotting my skin under the tortured tree. Another beautiful day in sunny Florida.

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Hey Maddie :wave:

Some really beautiful imagery in here! Your verb choices are very strong indeed; I love the light spilling, the colours unrolling, the clouds blurring and muddling. I can’t remember where I read that the verb is the soul of the sentence, but it really shows here.

Great work, keep it up tomorrow!

I really like your use of alliteration and the feeling of drifting lazily about. Great job!

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Hi 4SVM!

You’ve painted a really good picture of a blisteringly hot day in beautiful Florida! I can associate with that putrid brown algae smell. I particularly like your use of juxtaposition, first at the word level with “deafeningly quiet”, and then at the sentence level with the torture of the tree juxtaposed against the beauty of the day.

Well done, looking forward to more tomorrow!

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Thanks! Yea it is interesting that alliteration really suits that feeling of drifting through the day. With your one I get the sense that it is too hot to do anything, it feels like you know you probably should put suncream on but even doing that would be too much energy exerted.

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Ha ha. That is about right. We just broke out of a cold snap which makes it feel all the hotter.

I know this is not probably what you were going for, but I got a post-apocalyptic scene in my head when reading this. Like, folks sitting around a barren land reminiscing about the days before the disaster.

I was caught by a river of wind, plunging upwards towards an endless sheet of dark, roiling clouds. The icy air cuts into my skin and sends my limbs flailing as I spiral uncontrollably. My heart is an alarm bell booming out from my chest and shaking the backs of my eyes. I gasp myself awake, sweat cooling my skin as the freshly disturbed sheets flutter back to a rest. The tangy, sweet scent of your conditioner caresses my face and whispers of love. Warm thoughts push out the fading memories of a dream.

I’m only on Chapter 3 of “Writing Better Lyrics”, but wanted to get started with daily object writing. I haven’t really done much creative writing before, so I’d appreciate any advice/critiques. Thanks!

Under a blue sky in November, the sun taps the tips of my nose and fingers as wind hugs my shoulders. The New York City sidewalk sparkles with a fresh concrete feel, my feet with a little bounce to start an autumn day. Clouds drag, gently painting along the sky’s canvas in the corner of my eye. Beeps cut across streets but drift as I walk away from busy roads, down the tree-lined street, humidity that’s warm on my tongue. Big steps with my boots squelch damp leaves underneath as i expand my lungs with the after-rain air, then exhale with the week’s heavy thoughts falling down soft in my chest.

Hi Matt :wave:

Well done for getting started! The descriptive writing skills that object writing is training lay the foundation for all the other songwriting techniques to come.

Some really nice description in there! The image you’ve painted reminds me of the opening scene of The Wizard of Oz where she gets caught in the tornado. I think you’ve captured the experience of waking up from a bad dream very well, returning to sweet scents and warm thoughts. Really great stuff!