The Small Things

During these writing challenges, I like to include a variety of different types of prompts. Some try to tap into long-forgotten memories. Some require a bit of reflection. Some are geared more to the craft of writing, like today’s prompt.

As they say, it’s the little things in life that count, and so it is with writing. To include detail enriches our writing like little else, but to add those delightful adornments, we must first train ourselves to pay attention. Let’s practice.

Today, as you move about your day, be aware of what catches your eye and then take a second look, maybe even a third. These need not be unusual, unique, or intriguing objects. They should simply create a small space in your awareness.

When you wrap up your day, make a list of some of the things you saw. Give each a name and jot down some of the details you observed. Pick one item from your list and tell us about it, in detail, of course.

Ground the item in time and space. Where did you see this? What time of day was it? What did you see when you stopped to look? Pretend you are describing this item to someone who has never seen such a thing before. Paint a picture in the reader’s mind. Think about what caused you to pause and look at this item and recreate that experience for your reader. Tell us about it.

Please share your prompt responses in the comments below. If you’d like to be notified when others respond to your post, make sure to click the box beneath your comments that says notify me of follow-up comments by email.

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