Weekly Writing Challenge 1

Posted by on Sep 27, 2013 in Other Writings | 2 comments

Every Friday, student writer Danielle, will be issuing short writing challenges. When you do it (and you will, right?!), post it in the comments! Share your brilliance!

Take a moment to just stop and think of all the items that you touch in one hour. No, I promise this is not some introduction for a cleaning product; so go ahead and think about it. Probably something that we all share in common in the last hour is a doorknob. Now, how would you describe this routine item to someone that has never seen one? Well, you might say that’s easy to describe: round, hard, cold, so on and so forth. But there really is a lot that you can say about a doorknob when you look from the perspective of a writer: the angle of the handle, the etchings of screws, the color that it either shares or divides it from all the other doorknobs. That viewpoint is part of the beauty of writing: taking the mundane cogs of life and making them glorious.

So go ahead and try it. Find something in the room you are in right now, something that you must have encountered a hundred times without stopping to look at it. Put pen to paper and write what you see. How does it feel, is it made to last, where did it come from, why is it there, if you licked it what would happen? These are the minute details that when you throw them all together can make a fiction scene a reality for a reader.

When you spend time focusing on the common aspects of a room is when a story comes to life. It is the combination of all the little details that separates good writing from writing that the reader has to work for to picture. Even if it is just one light switch or a particular type of chair that always seems to pop up in your writing, that attention to description will elevate your work from blurry to sharp. So go for it, pick out your favorite always-ignored item and make it feel special.

Happy writing,



  1. The faded blue sleeve of a long forgotten joke sagged out of the black re-usable grocery bag dead and lifeless. it had once, long ago, before its present owner had known it, lived a wonderful and full life. Some one, now nameless, had spent hours poring over old photos and computer programs, and font sizes, and all the colors of rainbow, constructing the perfect emblem to mark the shirt for the 10th annual Georgia Sea Island Festival. Another, nameless and unremarkable without the passing of time, had saw the blazing turquoise, through a crowd hanging from the top of a tent, and decided to buy it. Over the years it went person to person, keepsake to junk, brilliant to faded, pristine to tattered, until it came to rest at the bottom of a pile of clothing with similar stories and similar scars. Then a young girl, no more than 15, with long blonde hair and a deceptively sweet smile that had been compared to Gatsby on more than one occasion, thrust her delicate hands deep within the mound of forgotten relics and began to dig. With three quick swishes the worn blue fibers were pulled from their tomb and hidden in a neighboring bag. Two dark faces, one of a woman about to sing, the other of a man in full tribal dress, could just be seen peaking out of the plastic bag, watching long blonde hair swing away to another table. The bag shifted, and the blue shirt sunk to the bottom, forgotten again. later it was discovered with dismay (marred by a touch of humor) by its new owner, a remarkably young girl with uncommonly old eyes. The blue fibers were then passed off again, stuffed in a backpack, to the blond hair. and again wrapped in paper and given as a gift to the old eyes. And so the long forgotten keep sake became a joke, never worn, constantly questioned, yet carefully handled for it symbolized an unwavering connection between two young friends. but the friends grew up and grew out of old habits. the soft fabric and the two dark figures were lost in the kayos of aging and thrown to the corner of a changing room. There it watched, and faded, and softened, as the young face grew into its eyes. Shoved into a black grocery bag, barely visible to the outside world, it sat forgotten.

  2. well done!

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