Artists and writers are very similar. Both are trying to take what they see in their own mind and place it in the minds of others. Whereas artists use paint and canvas, writers use ink and paper.

The better you get at describing things, the more clearly you will be able to transfer your thoughts and ideas to other people, but this takes practise. Artists practise drawing bowls of fruit and painting people's portraits, whereas writers practise describing things in words. Selecting the right word is like a painter choosing the right colour.

Watch the lecture above.

Descriptive Writing Exercise

Next, maximise the video screen and watch the following eight pictures. They go round twice, so you have plenty of time to take them in.



Choose the image that most appeals to you and have a go at writing a 150-300 word description of the place that you have chosen.

Focus on creating a sense of place, drawing people into your picture so that they can imagine it even if they have never seen the original image. Whether you use poetic language or straightforward description is entirely up to you. How you describe things and the language you use is unique to your style of storytelling.


Remember that grammar helps the reader to follow your description more clearly, but it's usually best to allow yourself to write freely first, and then go back and tidy up the grammar before sharing. Don't let grammar restrict what you want to say, use it as a tool to polish your words afterwards.

If you would like me to check over your exercise, please e-mail your work to:

The reader fee is £20 for descriptive writing up to a maximum of 500 words.