Creative Writing exercise, week 3 – listening for inspiration

Shhh… what do you hear?

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A simple writing prompt for you today – just sit out in the garden (enjoying some sunshine hopefully) and make a list of everything you can hear around you. Write down everything from the van backing in the next road to the grass in the wind. Maybe you’re lucky enough to have a bee working hard near your chair.

Now read this list out loud to yourself. You may want to change the order slightly and pay particular attention to your verbs. Are they working hard enough for you? Is there a better work you can use – sometimes it helps me to underline all my verbs, to change them ALL and then decide which ones I want to put back to the original. For your first draft, nothing is sacred.

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You can use this poem below by John Clare as an example. On the surface, it really is a simple list of sounds but just try speaking it out loud and you can’t help but hear the garden come to life… in all its rustling, crumpling, whizzing, flirting glory!

As always, feel free to share your work, and please use the hashtags, #WITG or #writinginthegarden.

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Pleasant Sounds
John Clare

The rustling of leaves under the feet in woods and under
hedges;
The crumpling of cat-ice and snow down wood-rides,
narrow lanes and every street causeway;
Rustling through a wood or rather rushing, while the wind
halloos in the oak-toop like thunder;
The rustle of birds’ wings startled from their nests or flying
unseen into the bushes;
The whizzing of larger birds overhead in a wood, such as
crows, puddocks, buzzards;
The trample of robins and woodlarks on the brown leaves.
and the patter of squirrels on the green moss;
The fall of an acorn on the ground, the pattering of nuts on
the hazel branches as they fall from ripeness;
The flirt of the groundlark’s wing from the stubbles –
how sweet such pictures on dewy mornings, when the
dew flashes from its brown feathers.

selective focus photo of obalte green leafed plants during rain

Photo by Bibhukalyan Acharya on Pexels.com

3 thoughts on “Creative Writing exercise, week 3 – listening for inspiration

  1. Hello Sarah, I’m so enjoying your posts. I’ve been writing in a walled garden for more than a year now with an artist friend…,we met at degree college many years ago. The garden is in Liverpool, Croxteth Park..and on Sunday we exhibit a little of the work we have collaborated on..mine words and photo images..her’s markmaking and watercolour experiments. This is for the NGS open day there…I will be encouraging people to write there in the garden…a really beautiful place where much of William Roscoe’s work ended up in the tropical greenhouse.

    Once again …many thanks for you posts.

    Best wishes

    Geraldine Snape

    On Wed, Aug 21, 2019 at 9:56 AM Writer In The Garden wrote:

    > Sarah Salway posted: “Shhh… what do you hear? A simple writing prompt > for you today – just sit out in the garden (enjoying some sunshine > hopefully) and make a list of everything you can hear around you. Write > down everything from the van backing in the next road to the gr” >

  2. Pingback: Creative writing exercise, week 4 – writing your own instructions | Writer In The Garden

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