Coffee-break exercise: The joy of a small thing


20 March 2020
Pick something you usually overlook in your everyday life to spark a new piece of creative writing in this week's exercise

Look carefully around you and let your attention focus on something small or insignificant that you've forgotten about or usually overlook. An old lipstick you haven't thrown away, a pen you keep on the desk 'just in case', a pair of socks that need putting in a drawer. A button. A pebble. A sweet wrapper. A shell. An old flash drive. A paperclip, even.

When you've selected your object, spend a couple of minutes really examining it. Colour, shape, size, smell, texture...

Now spend five minutes describing it as accurately as you can.

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For the next ten minutes, write a passage of prose or poetry in your preferred style where this object plays a pivotal but unexpected role.


Now you've thought about description, what about describing the characters in your fiction? Here are 14 ways to get it right.