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Exercise the senses: Vision Part II / Ejercitando la visión, Parte II


For the Spanish full version, click here!

The vision in action

Now that the vision is enhanced we can get more out of it. With the exercises the vision is more focused on details and has a good relationship with the brain. That is why we must exercise through action and examine every tiny detail. There are several ways to do it, and they help us to create the description we want to write in our stories, so that the reader can visualize.

Reinvent reality: a visual moment, a situation that we are seeing may be a passage of fiction, we can take it beyond what it actually is.

Our memories: those memories we have and lie in our memory, are a good source of inspiration. Take a specific memory and for ten minutes write what you see, feel free to add, take away…

The action of things: the movement is also part of many descriptions we do in our writing and the only way to capture it in our minds is through vision. The artists perform these exercises their sketch notebooks, for example Michaelangelo, before a painting. The same goes for writers who capture the movement not in drawings, but in letters. Write the action of either a race car, the flight of a bird, a runner, an unexpected move…

Search inside things: go deep into all things, you are looking for the details that are unseen at first sight. Explore as a painter would! The great artists like Van Gogh, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Botticelli- to name a few-, were great with details. With them they brought their works to life. Detail help to better conceptualize the environment that surrounds the characters, their emotions, what they are wearing, why they are wearing it, and so on. Explore not only the things you see, also do it with emotion. Take a random person while waiting in line in a store, or while you are sitting down at a restaurant or at a bench in the park and observe, then describe the emotion that you observed in detail.

Viewpoint: have fun with vision and take different roles at that time. Be your characters and look at the world through their point of view. A gothic sees a fog-covered landscape different from a romantic writer. An adventurer sees the sea as a place full of secrets, while a fisherman at sea sees it as a way of survival. There are different points of view, and your characters see their surroundings in different ways.

Comparison: How are the details of something far away? How do they compare these with what is close? How are the colors of a mountain that is at a distance, one that is closest to you? And the trees? To perform a visual comparison, we see one and the other for several minutes, hence we take the differences and we can capture them on paper.

Since you’ve exercised, take a picture that catches your eye. Just as the painter captured the movements, their point of view and the details of the nature and time; do the same, but in your notebook and describe the painting as if you’re telling a story. Write without stopping, as many colleagues have said, without lifting the pen from paper or hands off the keyboard for five or ten minutes. I have a habit I’ve learned, after I write something I leave it simmer, just as the chef does with a juicy steak. Do the same with the letters and return to them in the afternoon or the next day, you’ll see a new perspective and if you want to change something, go ahead.

Share with us your thoughts, comments, and links on the comment section; so we too can benefit from your point of view and learn.


Bonus: A visit to a garden

“Half of what matters to a garden is the constant exercise of the imagination”-Mrs. C.W. Earle, Pot-Pourri from a Surrey Garden, 1897 (Thanks, Jessica)

“The best gift of a garden is the restoration of the five senses,” Hanna Rion

“In my garden there is a huge place for my feelings. My garden of flowers is also my garden of dreams and thoughts. The thoughts grow as free as the flowers, and dreams are as beautiful. “-Abram L. Urban

They say the greenery of nature helps to relax the eye, but by experience I attest that not only helps the sight, but it gives you inner peace. When I want to have a moment for myself, even five minutes until my children interrupt me, I escape to my garden. I seek peace among the flowers; and inspiration amongst the roses, a species with an aroma that will last forever. So I get lost in the green of the leaves and in them I lay my vision so the serenity that emanates from nature flows to my soul. Moments like these do not occur every day, but when they do I hold on to them so they can take away my fatigue. Get lost in a garden, go and walk amongst the greenery. Then, for ten minutes lose yourself in your writing.



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10 thoughts on “Exercise the senses: Vision Part II / Ejercitando la visión, Parte II”

  1. These are great writing exercises especially since I’m trying to get some perspective on writing a novel! I will definitely be using these.

    1. I’m glad you enjoy them, Jennifer, will be publishing the others this next week. Summer and my kids have me on mommy mode and the writing mode is on pause, for now. I’m writing my second book, so if anything let me know. Welcome to Mink!

      1. How exciting… I will keep my eyes open for the exercises next week. And you’re writing a second book? How exciting! On What?

    1. Hey, Jennifer, I was wondering. What kind of fiction are you writing or like? My genre is fiction, but I like fantasy stories. Stories that have mythological creatures and strange worlds. One thing that’s helping me right now with me new book is making an outline, never use them before and they have help a lot.

  2. I love to read fantasy, but I’ve never been able to create a story in a fantasy world. I use some supernatural elements in my fiction. I am leaning towards supernatural I guess. I have found outlining to be the greatest thing in the world. I’ve tried starting so many short stories, but I couldn’t finish them because I never had an outline. Now, I’m 85 pages in after I made an outline for my novel. Thanks!

  3. This is perfect. I started to realize I forgot the small details about my characters and this will be perfect to keep me on track!

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