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.
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!
I really like this, you’ve captured that feeling when you walk down the street with a smile on your face and a spring in your step - some lovely imagery! I think you’re the first one to explicitly tap into that organic sense of our inner bodily feelings with your expanding lungs breathing in. Great job!
As though I could feel the heat of the neon orange. Inferno. Lava spilling onto the horizon.
Splattered paint atop a tired blue mother watching her lively child. Vegas lights, woven through
Hot pink, transparent ghosts dancing…slow, like electric molasses.
Seemingly illusive. You reach out to touch her but she creeps further into the horizon, dimming slightly every moment. Intrigued by her boldness. Bubble gum ice cream and pink cotton candy clouds. Unbridled passion and wild eyes.
So this is my first post. Describing an Arizona Sky. I found this challenging… Can’t wait to learn how to do this correctly!
I was curious how you could could describe the sky with sense of smell, and now I know!
You did a great job, especially for your first time! Glad to have you here. You have some really good visual imagery here. The lights, colors, the reference images (lava, cotton candy, etc…). You also captured the motion and passing of time (that is a different sense (electric molasses, creeps, dimming every moment). Also, the contrast is really cool from beginning to end, where in the beginning it’s hot and moving slowly. By the end, it’s all unbridled and wild.
Really wonderful first go. With some time and practice, you’ll begin to expand you sensory language. Don’t worry about it if you can’t incorporate too many senses at first, you can make up for it with high quality images (like you have done here). Wonderfully written, and welcome to the site.
Yep agreed this is really good especially as a first attempt, my first attempt was a shocker but thats a word document for my eyes only haha. Nice and visual, one thing you could say to blend in other senses might be the cotton candy clouds providing a sweet smelling rainstorm in the distance, and might be able to hear the slot machines from vegas blowing in the wind, linking the woven vegas lights. Just keep at it!
I can feel you. Nearby you provide warmth and I can feel you smile as you kiss me. I don’t lift a finger or call your name, because I know you are forever there. Last summer you did have to go away. Hiding because I set fire and the smokescreen hid you from me, a blanket I knew I didn’t want, but didn’t know until I saw. You were gone.
Cool and crisp, a smell of an evening breeze, your odor changes from place to place, even though you remain. Constantly I try and feel you, but the more I chase you, the further away you seem to be. The bigger you seem to be. Pillows are provided as an illusion to comfort, when I know they are just pieces of you I can never feel. Big old sky.
Hi David, and welcome to the community! Really great to have people starting their way through these exercises, and we would love to hear about who you are and where you come from in the introductions thread!
I like these “ode to the object” framings, where you speak directly to the thing. As you will learn the feedback for these exercises is always “show me don’t tell me”, for things like “Hiding because I set fire and the smokescreen hid you from me” is a little bit too explanatory, show us these things by developing the sensory associations with fire and smoke.
That being said I particularly like the words from the bedding family, blanket and pillows are really comforting words and I like how you have juxtaposed the former against the cloud of smoke - a really nice metaphor.
Great start and I hope you enjoy all the exercises to come!
Blue, today. A blue of opportunity. When the sky is blue I feel like I could do anything, go anywhere, be anyone. Just by looking at it. The hilarious thing is that I will close my eyes and imagine it. The sky is blue today therefore I can drift of anywhere, with my eyes closed. I can feel the adrenaline building in my chest, the excitement swoop into my shoulders and neck, and launch my mind into limitless opportunities. There’s an airplane. A reminder of the physical world, but also an ode to limitless opportunities, places yet undiscovered, adventures yet to be lived.
Grey. Oh I am stuck. It feels like events have conspired against me. How am I meant to smile, be happy, find enjoyment? It is borderline claustrophobic, as though in this instant I could touch the clouds if I tried and, if I’m not careful, in the next instant, they will have sunk so low they will be lying on top of me, draping over my head. Somewhere, the other side of those gloomy woolly sheep shapes is the emerald blue of opportunity.
Hi there Nosy, and a big welcome to the community! I really like how you have taken two very different emotional tones, exemplified using these two colours of the sky. It captures how we oscillate between being open minded and expansive in outlook and demeanour, and being closed and confined. I like the bodily sensations you have employed to make this a piece of internal perspective. One thing you might like to try is keeping it more objective in your descriptions, as this is where we practice the fine skill of painting the raw imagery, creating a sense of emotion through word choice alone rather than explicitly telling us things. Show don’t tell. Anyway great start and look forward to reading more of your words!
Hey @jamie , this was a really good feedback, specially the
squelching noise your wellies make
Whenever I look up at the sky, I’ve always felt tiny. I would wonder if the earth has met the sky or do they always stay apart, just a hands reach from each other. There was a time when I would find patterns and look for animals in the puffy clouds. My hair has started turning grey, and now while lying down on the wet grass of the early morning I am looking for something similar. The gentle breeze would blow my hairs, kiss my cheeks and run away. Prayers from the nearby temple accompanied by the orchestra of birds on the mango tree.
Got interested in Object Writing after reading the first chapter from Pat Pattinson’s book. Thanks for this amazing community!!!
Hi there Homesh, and a big welcome to the community! It is really great to see you starting to work through these exercises!
For the first day I think this is very good indeed! I love the personification of the Earth and the sky, wondering what their relationship is. The orchestra of birds on the mango tree provides so much sensory description. I think there are a couple of areas you could shave down to make it more show than tell, and also a good rule of thumb is that the listener loves specificity - for instance, you could tell us which animals you used to see in the puffy clouds, a horse galloping? A heard of clouds?
I really look forward to reading your progress through these exercises - good luck!
An empty gray sky meets the horizon. An Autumn grey canvas never paints quite as well as a summer’s white. Summer cloudy skies are filled with possibilities. I stand under the expanse, wondering—always wondering. Do others feel the comfort of the wind? Or are they pushed and pulled about, cold buttons grasped tightly in colder hands, wrapped around themselves? Not me. The cold brings back the warmth of old, those days looking out the window; feet too close, too warm, then too far and too cold—the cycle repeats. Rhythmic crackling playing an out of time tune with the pattering drops against the window. Grandma’s famous homemade chocolate chip cookies tease me through the air amidst burning citrus hardwood. My stomach growls at the thought. Autumn’s kind touch brushes the hair out of my eyes, bringing me back.
Welcome to the community Cosmo! It is always a pleasure to welcome new members through the door as you have such an exciting journey ahead in sharpening your descriptive writing skills! For a first post you have painted a lovely picture and taken us with you across the rich associations of your mind. As you go through these exercises, just keep on asking yourself “am I showing the reader something or just telling them?”. It is worth re-reading your piece with that question in mind, and trying to identify the areas which aren’t adding to the pure sensory experience of reading it. Great work and I look forward to reading what is to come!
Welcome! You paint a great picture contrasting between the summer sky and fall sky. That leads to an internal sense of tension. Then to contrast your feelings to those around you builds on that tension, and introduces more senses like the wind, cold, tightly grasped, wrapped around themselves. Those evoke our senses, specifically our tactile sense. Then, you introduce the internal sense of comfort (warmth from the cool weather) and nostalgia. The auditory cue is there, but I feel like it could be beefed up a little. It is brought in and dismissed fairly quickly. The smell and taste senses are great here with cookies and hardwood. The stomach growling adds back to the internal sense of hunger and builds on the contrasting tension (you were just thinking of delicious cookies, and now your stomach feels empty - losing that comfort you have been building). The final line is also really well done, the reader feels not just the wind, but the hair across their forehead. This is a great piece. Keep it up!