Creative Writing Exercise: Through the Senses (Step 1)

I have decided that I want to try different writing exercises for my blog, and possibly evaluate which exercises I liked the best and why. For this ‘series,’ I will use the book entitled Now Write! Fiction Writing Exercises From Today’s Best Writers and Teachers, edited by Sherry Ellis.

This exercise is from the first chapter, “Through the Senses,” by Robert Olen Butler.  There are 7 steps to this exercise; this is the first step.

A familiar room, through the senses

I awoke, panicked by an already-forgotten dream. I looked around the room. I wasn’t in my bed, but the shapes surrounding me look vaguely familiar. As I worked on controlling my breathing, I tried to figure out where I was lying.

I could barely make out the long rectangular shape of the light fixture on the ceiling. The cool, hard, laminate flooring pressed uncomfortably onto my backside, so I sat up. The dark room was dimly lit by city lights coming through the living room window. In front of me were my apartment’s faux-wood kitchen cabinets, complete with faux-marble counter tops. Behind me were the fridge and stove, and the sink was to my side.  I turned my head to look at the familiar shapes in the living room: futon, easel, small TV stand, and a bookshelf filled with movies and various art supplies.

Even though everything looked familiar, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was off, especially since I couldn’t remember passing out on kitchen floor. I could smell the pizza box that I left on the counter last night, explaining the taste of my stale morning breath. The silence of the apartment was cut by  a the slow steady drip from my kitchen faucet, which reminded me that I still needed to contact maintenance.  I scanned the room one more time, willing my heartbeat to return to normal.

(To be continued…)

I hope you enjoyed this piece of writing, and if you want to offer more ideas or try it out yourself, let me know and post your version in the comments below. ^_^

(P.S: Have a happy Easter!)



  1. Anonymous · · Reply

    Say, I want to know how it ends… did someone knocked out the character.. what was the purpose, or did the charcter had a party that don´t remember anything.. either way what´s up.

    1. 7 steps. I’ll continue this in 2 weeks… 🙂

  2. I can imagine myself in your world as I read. That was way cool!

  3. […] is a continuation of a previous post, in which a fictional character (first person point of view) wakes up in a familiar room.  The […]

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