Like the eye of a visual artist who sees lines and colours in everyday life, we, writers, need to sharpen our gaze and identify what elements we need to describe in order to share an ambiance. To practise this visualization that is specific to writers, we will work on something you are very familiar with. Writing on something we know very well is a perfect beginner exercise.
That is why, for this first monthly workshop, you will have to write a text between 400 and 800 words that describe your city. You can have the tone of your choice (if you want your text to be humorous or with a marketing tone, go ahead!), but you need to convey a realist description and make the reader understand the overview of your city, the feel, the culture, the colours, the smell, the way of life. Make it interesting and captivating, even if it’s only a description.
Writing about something so familiar may not be that easy. You need to pay a different attention to your city, see it with the eyes of a writer. What will you talk about and what will you omit? How can you make the reader feel as though he or she knows the city even if he or she never went there or even saw a photograph of it?
Try it out! Post your exercise in the comments section or by email for feedback. And read it out to your friends and family who lives in the city and see if they have the same vision of your hometown.
And tell me, how did you proceed? Did you see things differently?