Writing Assignment: Description From A Single Sense

by Randy Murray on March 5, 2010

If you have the goal of becoming a better writer, you need to practice.

Here’s your writing assignment for today:

Write a description of an item or event using only one of your five senses: touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound.

In this assignment, select a fresh experience and describe it using one sense. This may be more difficult than you expect. Attempt to provide a full and rich description for your readers. Stretch yourself and think deeply about the experience before you start. I recommend selecting a simple, common experience or item for this exercise.

When you’re done, ask yourself if this paragraph fully describes your experience. And as always, give your completed work to someone else to review and comment on.

Here’s my example:

“My morning doesn’t start with drinking coffee. It begins with making it. The rubber feet of the coffeemaker stutter softly across the countertop as I pull it towards me and then remove and dump yesterday’s grounds and filter into the trash with a wet thud. I turn on the faucet to full, and in the rush and hiss I rinse the metal carafe and lid and fill the reservoir to half. The faucet is new, but there’s an echoing thud when I turn the water off. I take the jar, flip open the metal clip with a resisting snap and let the lid back fall back with a clear clink of glass on glass. I scrape the coffee scoop through the beans, rattling them softly to level it, and then dump them with a dry tinkling into the grinder. One, two, and one half more. Then with the grinder’s lid in place, I press it down, setting it in motion. It’s loud for so early, but expected. I count to my self against the middle pitched hum. One, two, shaking it up and down when I reach twelve and listening for the grounds to shift and move as the last pieces of beans are cracked and finally broken down. When I reach fifteen I release the lid and the whirring slows and stops. I pour these fresh grounds into the paper filter like soft sand sliding into a bucket. Then I take the brush and flick off the dusty remains with a few practiced swirls, gentle and soft after the violence of the spinning blade. I close the basket into the coffee maker, listening for the plastic click to assure me it is closed. I press the switch. It’s time for the machine to awake and it wheezes and sighs as it shakes off its own sleep. It gurgles and then settles into a steady surging cycle. By the time I’ve finished making our eggs, I will have missed the soft and final click when it shuts itself down. The coffee will be ready when everyone else is gone and I come to fill my cup.”

You may leave your completed assignment in the comment section below.

  • Share/Bookmark

Leave a Comment

You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Previous post:

Next post: