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Monday, January 12, 2015

A Moment of Being


Here's a writing exercise guaranteed to enrich your writing.

As described by Woolf, ‘moments of being’ are moments in which an individual experiences a sense of reality, in contrast to the states of ‘non‑being’ that dominate most of an individual’s conscious life, in which they are separated from reality by a protective covering. Moments of being could be a result of instances of shock, discovery or revelation.

 The idea is to slow down and to tune into my senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. Turn off the phone; hide in the bathroom; do whatever’s necessary to become at one with my character which enables me to share the experience.

And for good measure, I add any details that fully capture this moment in time: temperature, touch of texture, sensations of comfort or discomfort, thoughts that arise in the midst of the moment experienced.

The goal  is to capture the essence of that moment and record it. The aim is to describe those moments as accurately as possible so the reader is also there, with the character, in that moment.

 Write it like a shopping list if you want to. Start anywhere and, at the end, tack on anything you want to add.

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