Recently, I’ve been reading haiku written by one of my friends, and thinking about the origins of this poetry genre. In Japanese tradition, haiku were meant to convey momentary sensations of inner stillness through imagery. Haiku is like an image taken by a professional photographer: it evokes emotions and indirectly tells a story of feelings.
For a fairly long time, I’ve been using one writing method close both to haiku and photography. By using this method, you won’t write a book or a poem (though who knows?), but will definitely find plenty of vivid and realistic scenes that could be used in your writing. This method is simple, and is like a game: all you have to do is look around and describe what you experience in certain moments throughout your day, in three sentences.
Instead of lengthy explanations, let me show you some of the sketches I made during the last week:
- A blind boy stands at the door of an expensive boutique, located on the city’s main street, and plays an old violin. Autumn leaves are falling, it’s getting colder, as evening is coming. People pass by.
- Lying in bed without sleep, the alarm clock near my bed shows about 3am. The window is open, and I can hear raindrops beating the asphalt. Suddenly, I hear a new sound of the hasty clip-clop of a young woman’s heels.
- A homeless guy stands in the middle of the street with a cardboard sign hanging on his neck. The sign says, “I’ll kiss a lonely woman for a sandwich.” People don’t pay much attention to the guy, but suddenly one woman approaches him.
I guarantee you the world around you is full of intriguing moments. You can include them in your stories and novels, either as descriptions needed to create a certain atmosphere, or as plot-making events, or in any other way you like. The main value of such sketches is they are copied directly from real life, and thus are credible.
So, take your pen, your notebook (or whatever else you use to make records), open your eyes, and walk around the streets consciously.
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