30 Days of Creative Writing: Day 19

Good evening, everyone had a good day? I’ve been at work. I can’t really complain since I only work two days a week, but I do get exhausted by Sunday afternoon. I managed to fit in at least a little writing on my breaks today.

The exercise I worked on this morning was in a section about creating a sense of place, and generate a forbidding atmosphere. I had to choose a place – I decided on a walled garden – and then make notes based on the five senses, from the notes a short descriptive passage of up to 300 words is written. The second part of the exercise is to cut out the adverbs.

Because it’s quite a long set of exercises and I still have things to do today, I’m just going to show you my notes.

My notes:

Gate creaking, clanging shut.

Cut grass
Fresh earth
Lillies and roses

Soft grass and hard earth
Crumbling soil, hard stems of rose bushes
Slight breeze, air barely moving

Honey and tea
Rain in the air

A garden – laid out in a formal pattern with grass walks and dividing box hedges. Fruit covered brick walls surround garden, in the far corner there’s a greenhouse, and shed, bean poles and twine leaning against ready to be turned into supports for beans, peas and climbing flowers.
Above, the sky is blue but threatening grey clouds are edging in.

I was trying to think of a reason the character would be in the garden and why it would be forbidden. I came up with three scenarios.

An employee in a eighteenth/nineteenth century big house. Wants the flowers for her mother’s grave and is prepared to steal them.

The garden is at a world famous plant breeding establishment; the character is a plant smuggler and has come to steal a rare lilly.

In the future the land is a barren waste polluted and vile. Food is produced in factories, in nutrient solution, because it’s ‘too dangerous’ to grow food the old fashioned way. Except in rare oasis like The Garden. The protagonist has snuck in to see what actual flowers look like.

I quite like the third one. I can see the industrial background, grey and harsh, and the garden, forbidden to everyone except a very select few. It’s a paradise compared to the cold, compartmentalised existence the character has lived so far, in a high rise flat, thirty storeys above ground. All the trees they’ve ever seen were dead relics, weeds growing through cracking pavements are considered a menace and ruthlessly poisoned.

It’s a cold dystopia, but I’m in that sort of a mood.

I must away, I hear my dogs demanding dinner, and I wouldn’t mind a meal of my own.

And I should probably work on one of my projects.

Bye for now,



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