Writing Practice: Clarity
I decided to share some of my work from past writing classes. Keep in mind none of this has gone through almost no editing, so mistakes in both spelling and grammar are probably in there. But try some of these prompts out on your own, share it below!
Green: Describe something green.
Caitlin peered through the glass vial dangling an inch from her face. Her gloved fingers pinched the vial’s neck, at a point right before it bowed out into a small bulb. Inside, a viscous green liquid swayed and splashed, fluctuating between a deep emerald at its center and a virulent, poisonous, lime green near its edges that clung to the sides of the glass before slowly absorbing back into the greater mass.
Pants: Describe pants.
Michael yanked a navy blue pair of Lucky Brand jeans out with the flair of a magician presenting his greatest trick. He set them on the rosewood table that separated Sofia and himself, taking mental notes of each rip and stain. Iraq… he guided a finger down to a spot that had been bleached white, girl from Australia…
“No.” Sofia threw her hands up, “throw them out.”
House: Describe a house.
Caitlin brought her wagon to a halt outside the large plantation house her family had owned since before she’d been born. Age had not been kind to the building. Coal-colored shingles clung to the hipped roof two stories above where a plume of thick gray smoke ascended into the overcast skies above. A disheveled mess, the shingles hung off the eaves of the roof at odd angles—like snaggleteeth. Simple Greek columns which supported the covering over the porch and the balconies above contrasted with elaborate floral friezes that decorated the exterior. Paint peeled from around the frames of windows that stared out onto the fields like soulless eyes. A gust of wind elicited a belabored groan from the structure wafting the familiar scent of her fathers cigar smoke in her direction. A scent which had become baked into the foundation of the structure itself. Caitlin sighed, it’s good to be home.
Girl: Describe a girl.
Whoever this Wild Bill Hickok is—he’s going to lose. Caitlin bound her hair back behind her in a ponytail she had made on hundreds of different occasions, auburn wisps dancing before her eyes. She grimaced as she caught a whiff of herself, she hadn’t been able to bathe for the past two weeks on the trail into town. But what was the point really? She had already found that no amount of scrubbing with the most potent soap she could find would get the smell of gunpowder and whiskey off of her … it had become her body’s natural scent.
Horse: Create a horse.
“Goddamn you Faron!” Caitlin threw her gloves into the brush off the trail in a fit of frustration as Malcolm and Leon keeled over in boisterous laughter atop their own horses. Rain had begun to fall, mixing the scent of sagebrush with precipitation. In the half-second Caitlin had taken her eyes off Faron—a breed of horse bigger and leaner than the average Quarter Horse which Malcolm had provided—he had managed to wander off across a stream to devour the grass on the opposing banks. As soon as the musky scent of wet horse had faded, Caitlin knew she’d lost him once more and readied herself for the tug-of-war that would ensue as she tried to pull him away from his meal.
“He does it every goddamn time.” Caitlin glowered.
“His name means wanderer for a reason, gunslinger.” Malcolm smirked.
Vehicle: Describe a vehicle.
What a sexy car. Jax Jensen stepped slowly around the unmarked, gunmetal-gray cruiser that had just been delivered to his apartment. The UVS200-I was an interceptor model that packed more thrust than a space-bound rocket and had sleek curves usually reserved for the centerfold models of adult publications. It lent the vehicle a sleek predatory look. He was in love.
Said: Describe a character’s voice.
“So let me get this straight,” the middle-aged barista behind the register said, looking up at me as she drew a deep breath. She enunciated each word near-perfectly. Her voice was grandmotherly, and as sweet as the laundry list of artificial sweeteners this drink was about to be filled to the brim with. I hated her. “You’d like a triple shot, skinny vanilla latte, soy milk … half pump of vanilla, quarter pump hazelnut, three Splendas, add shot … so, a quad-shot then, not a triple.” Her voice took on a haughty condescending tone that only Starbucks employees, and wine snobs seemed capable of.
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