4.03.2013

Clues - writercize #AtoZChallenge 3.3

Please note: writercize (a portmanteau of write and exercise with a z for ... a twist? fun? street cred?) is participating in the A to Z Challenge through the month of April with alphabetical writing prompts. I'm skipping the stories behind the prompts so you can spend more time practicing and less time reading! Please participate, and enjoy!

writercize: To improve your descriptive skills, practice viewing objects in a room not by their title, but what they are. 
photo credit: www.morguefile.com


Do not look at a roll of tape and call it a roll of tape - call it a sticky ribbon wound in a circle. Don't look at a pen and call it a pen - call it a cylinder of ink. 

For today's writercize, compose a clue about an object in your room, and see if we can guess what it is!

I love reading your comments and especially your writercize results, so please, drop me a line to let me know if this worked for you! Better yet, share your attempt with the world in your comment! 

Click "read more" for writercizer sample response. 

Note - It is a true story about being lost in translation - based on a conversation that occurred during my first week studying abroad in Italy, in a city where very little English is spoken, after only six months of studying Italian. I figured I could challenge myself by not referring to a dictionary, and instead use the word I knew to describe whatever I wanted to say. At time, it could be quite ... interesting. On one occasion, I thought I was asking for the bill, and apparently asked for a pot of sake instead. The question below took place in a drugstore.

writercizer sample response:

Here is how I described what I needed to the store clerk. Can you guess what it was? 


I need something to clean that will not cause an infection. It should not be hard like a rock, but it should be soft. But not soft like a toy - soft like milk or water. It is made for skin.

Not the most eloquent or direct, but I did eventually get what I needed, and we all chuckled a little at my ridiculous attempt at "fluent" conversation!

---By the way, had I used the English words with a forced Italian accent (adding a vowel at the end of every word), they probably would have understood immediately. I later learned that the words I was trying to convey are almost identical in English and Italian.

18 comments:

  1. I just discovered your blog through the A-Z Challenge (I was looking through the list for other writer's blogs). I loved this exercise and may have to try it sometime... And I plan on following your blog for more inspiration!

    -Kristen
    http://www.kristenduvall.com

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    1. Yes, please do try it - and let me know how it works out for you!

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  2. I also liked you on Facebook! I saw your link on the side :)

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    1. Thank you, thank you! Followed you right back. Congrats on moving in to the publishing world. Sounds very, very exciting!!

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  3. This sounds like a fun writing activity. I already follow your blog but I will have to put a link on my facebook page too.

    Denise at Organization and Inspiration for Fellow Writers, participant of A to Z Blogging Challenge

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    1. Hey Denise - thank you for being a follower and for your comment. Appreciate the Facebook link. :) Hope to see you here often!

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  4. OO, I liked this one! Like when my character describes an 'empty circular file 13' in the office she's broken into to look for clues...

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    1. Oh dear, a break in? Sounds like quite the intriguing character!

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  5. Excellent blog Alana I enjoyed reading and found it most interesting.

    Yvonne.

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    1. Thank you for your support Yvonne!

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  6. Good exercises! Will have to try this.

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    1. Yes! And if you don't mind, please share! Nothing makes me smile more than seeing a writercize in action. :)

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  7. I'm following you by e-mail. This is so much fun, I can't wait to share you with my writing buddies!!

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    1. Yay! Thanks for the email follow. Would LOVE to virtually meet your writing buddies!

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  8. Ahaha this is fun! I have the opposite problem, as I'm Italian and I live in Dublin! And I agree with you on using all the other words that you need to ask what doesn't come to your mind straight ahead! I think it's the basic secret of learning languages! This is so funny...
    I'll give it a go I'm looking at long rectangular thing full of buttons with which you control the images!
    Oh dear, it sucks!
    Happy I discovered your blog!

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  9. keyboard?
    I love this prompt, it makes you look at the world in a slightly different way.
    I need some soft cream to put on my skin because it is dry...

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  10. By the door or the portal to the outside world stood a tall metal stand with legs that looked like some sort of giant bug. On the stand was a black basen filled with a dark and earthy smelling substance that seemed to support the life of a spindly green creature. The green creature seemed to be reproducing smaller versions of itself that looked to be repelling down the sides of the black basen.

    Figured there was no time like the present to try out your writing prompts. I will have to put your blog in my favorite A-Z file and do this again it was fun.

    Have a great a-z
    Blessings,
    Margot at A Devotional Mosaic and Spark My Creativity

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I love reading your feedback and your writercize results! Please feel free to leave your website address at the end of your comment. I will delete spam, but welcome writers and bloggers to share their sites with the writercize community.