Creative Writing – Using an Image Cluster for Developing Descriptive Settings
One of the most important elements of writing that influence the reader’s experience is strong sensory development, especially in helping develop sceneries. There are many ways to practice or develop this skill, but using an Image Cluster to purposefully list elements of each sense while in that environment will help you recognize and develop some of these elements more naturally in your own creative writing.
Click the chart to the right to expand the Image Cluster Sample
Scene Sources: Pics or Vids
It may help you to use a scenery image or even video of ambient sounds of a setting. Some examples are posted for you below.
Before you Freewrite: Select a source to develop at least four aspects of that environment for your five senses: sound, touch, sight, taste, and smell.
During your Freewrite: Remember the rules – don’t stop, keep the pen moving, don’t censor it, no correcting or editing, no rushing- just continued writing, and see where your consciousness takes you with it.
After this Freewrite:
- Read through what you wrote and count how many of your Sense Elements you brainstormed ended up included in what you wrote.
- In reviewing what you wrote, identify any examples you would describe as Show, Not Tell writing.
- Use a highlighter over the text and select parts of the Freewrite you especially liked that you would pull and use in some creative writing you may do in the future.
- Reflect on doing the Freewriting by hand – if you used a specific pen, did it write smoothly for you? Could you feel a difference in the feel of what you were writing? Do you like the feel of the writing or as you write are you wishing instead you could be typing it? Do you think what comes out of the Freewrite would be different at all if it were typed instead of written? Is there a difference for you? If so, can you describe it?