Go back in your mind to the scene that you think of as the earliest one that has stayed with you. Jot down everything you remember about the event. Where were you? Was anyone else there? Who? What were the sounds, colours, textures or movements around you? Was there conversation? If so, who said what? Can you smell anything? And so on…
Explore the memory in as much detail as you can, and write it as though you’re sharing it with someone special.
Take the reader on a journey to your favourite place. This may be a physical place, but it does not have to be – think as laterally as you wish.
Repeat this exercise over and over, and be surprised by the range of possibilities.
Practising this exercise will enhance your ability to write a sense of place and hold the reader’s attention through the experience.
Free Writing Beyond Your Desk
Sit down ready to write. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to clear your mind.
Open your eyes and notice what is beyond your desk. Is it a blank wall… a noticeboard… a photograph… children watching television in the next room? Perhaps it’s a window that looks onto a retaining wall in the garden… a tree… or distant hills flooded with afternoon sun casting shadows to the east.
Take in the scene before you, then let your gaze settle. Now you have your starting point, pick up your pen or reach for the keyboard and begin to write as you explore what is before you.
Write for at least five minutes… or more if you can.
Each time you practise this exercise it will be easier to continue for longer.