SPARKS Room with a view

In the second of a series of quick creative prompts for all ages, K. M. Lockwood suggests staring out of the window . . .

Sight is the most used sense in writing – and is essential for illustration, films and TV. The better you observe, the more pleasure for you – and the reader or viewer. Take some time this week to goggle, to gawp, and to simply watch.

Here are a few ideas for you to adapt.


Go to a window, or a door with a clear glass pane, or anywhere you can see outside. If you have no view at all, try an online webcam. Take a good five minutes. If you get chance, try another time of day too.
  • Watch for movement everywhere – look up, across and down. Spot small and slow actions too.
  • Notice every detail. If you know the exact name, use it: e.g. laurel bush not just a plant.
  • Make a drawing with notes, or just watch. Which suits you?
  • Make a list – it could become a poem / a collage / a scene in a story.
  • Focus on concrete nouns (names of real things) and verbs (actions).
  • Avoid words that tell the reader what to think - like pretty and happily.  
cheese & onion crisp packet sliding across the road
ginger cat curled under privet hedge

Going further

The objects and actions you choose can change the mood.

Damp beech leaves dripped and trembled.

feels different to

Wet leaves on the beech tree sparkled.

If a person in a story or poem is cross, what would they notice?
If they had just won a prize, would it be different?

Can you make different views of the same place that feel:
  • cheerful
  • scary
  • busy
  • quiet
  • or some other emotion?

K. M. Lockwood loves stories full of folklore, fantasy and fairytale influences. Happy hours are spent reading, editing and reviewing them – and writing her own in Tales from the Garret.

Twitter: @lockwoodwriter

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