Weekly Writing Prompts: #20

It is the writer’s job to describe and from good description comes atmosphere, meaning, and emotion. We love reading because it takes us into another place, and as readers we can only escape reality and suspend our disbelief if the writing and descriptions are realistic. Whether you’re describing a setting or the way a character looked, creating an authentic and detailed description is a great skill to have.

As writers, we use our mind’s eye to visualise and our vocabulary to put a picture into words. Sometimes visualisation is easy, and we’re able to write about a range of sensory details easily. Sometimes your imagination is more like a child’s scribble and you have to really concentrate to see all the minutiae.

Here is a writing prompt to help you practice finding those finer points, and describe them with the utmost accuracy.

weekly writing prompt 20
Let our writing prompt challenge you this week!
Image Credit: iAudioguide via Flickr Creative Commons.


Write the most detailed description you can from the image above. Don’t focus on making this writing prompt into a story (you can do that later if you feel inspired). This is purely a messy brainstorm about description, so simple sentences or even dot points would suffice.

Sensory details take any description from boring to brilliant and can create feeling for the reader, so don’t just use your eyes. Picture yourself in the scene, and imagine what you can smell, hear, and touch.

Be creative with your description by using similes and metaphors to awaken your writing. This is what transforms plain old details into a literary masterpiece. There should be meaning in everything, so use your techniques to step it up.

This writing prompt works well for any image, so you can try it again and again with pictures you choose for yourself (or images from your imagination).

Don’t forget to catch up on the rest of our writing prompts, and to keep those writing muscles flexing. Happy writing!

Kyra Thomsen

Kyra is a writer and editor from Wollongong. She works full-time as a content writer while reading on the train and drafting short fiction stories in her spare time. Kyra won the 2012 Questions Writing Prize and has been published in Kindling, Seizure Online, Space Place & Culture and Tide. She enjoys admiring her bookshelves, watching cheesy shows on Netflix, and browsing her Tumblr. You can learn more about Kyra's previous publications, plus find fortnightly posts, on her website: kyrathomsen.com.

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