Sunday, November 9, 2014

Prompt: Exploding the small moments

One of my daughter’s earliest writing lessons was about “exploding the small moments.” Rather than simply saying “I went to the beach,” for instance, how about describing the experience of standing in the sand while the waves bury your feet, the cold water washing over them, the gritty feel of the sand and shells, the disorienting feeling of your fete settling deeper as the sand shifts under and around them. The wind blowing your hair in your eyes, the seagulls flying and calling, the pelicans coasting barely above the water, a cormorant diving under the water and popping up like a bath toy, bouncing on the waves. The smell of salt water and maybe fish – the tang against the back of your throat.

Sharing all of these sensory experiences through your characters POV can draw your reader in, as they imagine the scene for themselves, perhaps remembering their own similar experience.

Even in an action sequence such as a fight scene, for instance, you might think such detail would slow it down, bog down the action. And you certainly don’t want to stop in the middle for extended navel-gazing. But including brief descriptions of the senses – pain across the knuckles with a punch, or the sound of a nose breaking, or the bitter taste of blood in the mouth, all of these can contribute to the immediate real-ness of a fight scene.

Can you take a mundane experience, such as grocery shopping, and explode the small moment, such as admiring the variety of produce, wondering how and where it’s grown, or missing something out of season? Choose your own “small moment” and “explode” it into an exploration of the senses!


And so, with a loving heart, I offer you
I’ve heard many translations. Here’s one I love:
The light of the universe that shines within me recognizes
the light of the universe that shines within you.


Dogs in House

Music Playing
Panera musak

Time writing
15 minutes

November word count


  1. Writing report:
    Completed 1300 words of my 500-word novel summary. Next step some serious cutting!
    Time: ~20 min

  2. Writing report:
    Cut to 1000 words. 50% more to go. This is hard!
    Time: ~20 min

  3. Writing report:
    Only 22 more words to cut! I can do it!
    Time: ~20 min