The Empty Room and Writing

Imagine that you are thrown into an empty room with a notepad and pencil. The walls are white. The floors are bare. Silence is the only sound that buzzes through your ears. You are told to use your imagination to bring that room to life. What type of atmosphere would you create?

This is exactly the type of thing you need to do when creating scenes for your novel. You have to use your artistry to bring life to the empty room. What colors would you paint your walls? What type of furniture would you put inside your room? Will the floors be carpeted? These are the small details that keep your reader reading. Why? Because a reader needs to visualize in order to enjoy. However, there is a fine line you need to be aware of when adding details. You don’t want to clutter every room, every scene, and every description because this can turn a reader off.

Envision each blank piece of paper as an empty room that you need to fill up in order to make someone feel at home or at least welcomed.
Take a walk to the store within your mind to purchase the necessities to make your room inviting. Or, you can stroll down the dark alleys of your psyche to discover the rooms that you yourself would not want to enter. What do those rooms look like? Is the plaster crumbling from the walls? Are there cockroaches that scatter when the door is opened? Does an awful odor fill the room causing you to pinch your nose?

When you begin your story it is an empty page. The wordless page is an empty room that you have been given the privilege to decorate. If you use your talent correctly, you will unveil an unforgettable room that others will want to enter.

Let’s make this into a writing exercise. I will fill up a room if you do.

My empty room became… Stella walked down the narrow hallway that led to what they called the Great room. She didn’t understand until entering the room why they would have called it that. The moment her feet stepped into the eccentric living space she was no longer confused. The ornate ceilings were painted burgundy and navy blue and displayed cameo carvings. Custom made wheat colored drapes framed the tall windows that overlooked their private lake. Stella walked over to the eggplant colored chaise lounge and sat at its edge. Somehow the colors that she would have never thought to put together complimented each other. Mrs. Leed certainly had a knack for decoration.
The cream colored sectional that curved around the center of the room was the biggest piece of furniture Stella ever laid eyes on. Everything was beautiful, but her favorite part of the massive room was the area off to the side where two giant camel-colored bean bag chairs rested in front of a built-in book shelf that was crowded with the things Stella loved most, books.

I showed you mine, now show me yours. Pretty please.

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4 Comments

Filed under books, constructing, creating, dreaming, editing, emotions, Fiction, Inspirational, life, middle grade fiction, Style, Uncategorized, Voice, writer's life, writers, writing, Writing, Young Adult

4 responses to “The Empty Room and Writing

  1. Good writing exercise – and just a great exercise in mental visualisation.

  2. Dominique

    I change my mind about this. Right now, I’m having my problems with description just for the sake of description. Description should have a purpose other than to describe. It should enhance the plot, develop the characters, or set the tone. Multitasking, you know?

  3. I love this analogy!

    I’d create a colorful, loving, creative and life-filled space. 🙂

    Thanks for visiting my blog, Maribeth!

  4. Pingback: AME Blog Carnival: Tips and Tricks for Writers and Authors, September 3, 2012 | Author Marketing Experts, Inc.

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