Thursday, April 8, 2010

Writing exercise

Try to tell something about a person by showing something in their home. For example:
Tes opened her gleaming refrigerator. Cups of low-fat strawberry yogurt stood in five straight rows six deep on the top shelf, next to a full gallon of 2% milk. Apples and oranges crowded the one crisper drawer (apples to the left, oranges to the right) and lettuce, carrots, cucumbers and celery sat strategically in the other drawer so that no one food touched another. Mustard waited alone on a shelf on the inside of the door.  
    I could go on and on. But what have you learned about Tes? Anything? 
    Now you try.


  1. Great example of showing vs. telling. Thanks. Examples often help more than writing about something.

  2. I'm cheating a little because this isn't in the character's home:

    Evelyn Howard rose, glancing over to her daughter who stood before the Council, dressed in an outfit that would do little to elicit mercy. Although she wore a plaid skirt it was too short, revealing long legs covered by black tights with some sort of delicate design running along the back seam. The overlarge cashmere sweater did not hide the white tank beneath it nor the snake tattoo that curled around Arlen’s neck, winding its way down over her left shoulder and all the way down to her wrist. She wore her dark hair short, like a boy, bangs hanging down over coal-rimmed eyes, and a silver choker around her neck. Her arms were crossed over her chest, and she looked up sullenly at the five men who sat behind the raised curved desk. The eldest spoke.

  3. I forgot to say what I learned about Tes: She's always well put together, never a hair out of place, fashionable but not adventurous. Her house is as well ordered as her refrigerator, neat as a pin, everything in its place, never any clutter. I imagine her walls painted a neutral color, her furniture both comfortable and functional. She has a routine she follows almost religiously and a job that never holds any surprises.

    Hmm...I wonder what would happen to Tes if something unexpected happened in her life?

    This was fun btw, I could totally picture her refrigerator, so clean and neat and color coordinated.

  4. Very Good mshatch. Nicely done. And by the items in Tes' refrigerator, we can guess she's not into fattening food -- tons of yogurt and 2% milk. Thanks so much for participating.