Friday, March 19, 2010

Journal: setting

Some people are born story tellers. Many a cave man probably enthralled others with tales of a hunt 'round a crackling campfire in a dark cave, but only a few carefully drew those stories in colorful hieroglyphics.

Earlier this week, a man came into the office and I knew exactly who he was by the way he told a story. The plot wasn't one to inspire a 3-D blockbuster movie or a video game, but his words made me settle into my chair and listen because he made me feel like I was witnessing it happen for the first time.

As I listened I thought about what made him such a good storyteller. Then it clicked.

Sensory details.

This country boy made me feel the sun on his face and the sweat trickling down his back. I smelled the hay in the fields. I heard the clatter then silence after the tractor broke. I saw his new bride's blue eyes snap at him right before she turned around and marched back to the house. I could almost taste the fried chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans as I watched her throw them out the back door when he arrived two hours late for dinner. I felt the hunger in his stomach as the dogs raced toward his dinner and gobbled it.

He told a simple story using his senses. Try it.

Journal: Write about something that's happened to you. Be sure to include taste, touch, smell, sight, and sound.

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