Taking Responsibility: A Story
Writing Around

Aliens Among Us

Here's a little writing exercise for you. Office6alien

Its very simple.  Write about something as if you are describing it to an alien who just landed on this planet.

So, for example:

The book is heavy and has a red cover, with glossy pages and lots of photos in it.

Descriptive, if a bit bland.

But, wait a minute.

Does an alien know what a book is?  Maybe not.  You can't be certain, can you?  So describe it a bit more.  What does it look like? Use all your senses to describe it.  Then move on.  Red?  What's red?  A cover?  What might that be? Glossy pages?  What's glossy?  What's a page?

Beware that you can go crazy doing this.  Its a documented fact.  For instance, say you describe the book as a rectangle.  Well, what's a rectangle?  A geometric figure?  What's that? And so on.

I rest my case.

On the other hand, have you ever read a book, often a creative non-fiction work, where the description of the most basic of things is what draws you in?  I have, and I admire these writers tremendously.  I think the trick to their ability is that they don't assume you know anything.  They respect your intelligence, but presume nothing.

Which is what this exercise does for you.

Here are some things to describe:

a mug

a lamp

a candlestick

a china cabinet

a bracelet

a rug

a painting

Remember, you're telling this to an alien new to this planet. Put the results in the comment section if you so desire. 

By the way, besides pugs and cats, my favorite things are aliens.  Which is why my office mascot (in photo above) is a purple one.  I like purple too, in case you hadn't guessed.

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